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On the effects of COVID-19 safer-at-home policies on social distancing, car crashes and pollution

Abel Brodeur, Nikolai Cook and Taylor Wright

Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 2021, vol. 106, issue C

Abstract: This paper investigates the impacts of COVID-19 safer-at-home polices on collisions and pollution. We find that statewide safer-at-home policies lead to a 20% reduction in vehicular collisions and that the effect is entirely driven by less severe collisions. For pollution, we find particulate matter concentration levels approximately 1.5 μg/m3 lower during the period of a safer-at-home order, representing a 25% reduction. We document a similar reduction in air pollution following the implementation of similar policies in Europe. We calculate that as of the end of June 2020, the benefits from avoided car collisions in the U.S. were approximately $16 billion while the benefits from reduced air pollution could be as high as $13 billion.

Keywords: COVID-19; Safer-at-home; Lockdowns; Air pollution; Car crashes (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: P48 Q53 Q58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Working Paper: On the Effects of COVID-19 Safer-At-Home Policies on Social Distancing, Car Crashes and Pollution (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: On the Effects of COVID-19 Safer-At-Home Policies on Social Distancing, Car Crashes and Pollution (2020) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:106:y:2021:i:c:s0095069621000103

DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2021.102427

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Journal of Environmental Economics and Management is currently edited by M.A. Cole, A. Lange, D.J. Phaneuf, D. Popp, M.J. Roberts, M.D. Smith, C. Timmins, Q. Weninger and A.J. Yates

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