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Air pollution dynamics and the need for temporally differentiated road pricing

Journal article
Authors Jessica Coria
Jorge Bonilla
Maria Grundström
Håkan Pleijel
Published in Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Volume 75
Pages 178-195
ISSN 0965-8564
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Department of Economics, Environmental Economics Unit
Pages 178-195
Language en
Keywords Air pollution, Road transportation, Road pricing, Assimilative capacity
Subject categories Economics


In this paper we investigate the effects of the temporal variation of pollution dispersion, traffic flows and vehicular emissions on pollution concentration and illustrate the need for temporally differentiated road pricing through an application to the case of the congestion charge in Stockholm, Sweden. By accounting explicitly for the role of pollution dispersion on optimal road pricing, we allow for a more comprehensive view of the economy– ecology interactions at stake, showing that price differentiation is an optimal response to the physical environment. Most congestion charges in place incorporate price bands to mitigate congestion. Our analysis indicates that, to ensure compliance with air quality standards, such price variations should also be a response to limited pollution dispersion.

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