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Automobile Law in Japan Has Improved Air Quality

A law passed in Japan in 1992 aimed to improve urban air quality by banning vehicles that violated certain emission standards from being registered in designated areas. A new study published in Contemporary Economic Policy provides evidence that the intervention reduced emissions, contributing to air quality improvements in metropolitan regions.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020 12:01 am EST
"Japan's automobile law seems to work well, but to formally evaluate the validity of the law, full cost-benefit analyses would need to be undertaken"

A law passed in Japan in 1992 aimed to improve urban air quality by banning vehicles that violated certain emission standards from being registered in designated areas. A new study published in Contemporary Economic Policy provides evidence that the intervention reduced emissions, contributing to air quality improvements in metropolitan regions.

The law has been controversial because of its expense to owners of non-compliant vehicles and because of its unclear benefit. The study suggests that the law led to a 3% to 6% reduction in the monthly average ambient concentration of nitrogen dioxide over more than two decades, yielding benefits equal to about US $104 million as a result of reduced mortality from asthma.

“Japan's automobile law seems to work well, but to formally evaluate the validity of the law, full cost-benefit analyses would need to be undertaken,” said corresponding author Shuhei Nishitatano, PhD, of Kwansei Gakuin University.

Additional Information

Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/coep.12457

About Journal 

First published in 1982 as Contemporary Policy Issues, Contemporary Economic Policy publishes scholarly economic research and analysis on issues of vital concern to economists, government, business, and other decision makers. Leading western scholars, including three Nobel laureates, are among CEP's authors. The objectives are to communicate results of high quality economic analysis to policymakers, focus high quality research and analysis on current policy issues of widespread concern, increase knowledge among economists of features of the economy key to understanding the impact of policy, and to advance methods of policy analysis. 

About Wiley

Wiley drives the world forward with research and education. Through publishing, platforms and services, we help students, researchers, universities, and corporations to achieve their goals in an ever-changing world. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to all of our stakeholders. The Company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

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