Spatial and Urban Economics Seminar| Do Ride-Sharing Services Cause Traffic Congestion?

Activity Arrangement:

14:00-15:00 Academic report

15:00-15:30 Exchange of participants

Speaker: Jingdong Pang, Economics Department, School of Economics and Management, Wuhan University

Time: Friday, December 18, 2020, 14:00-15:30

Site: Meeting Room 734, Mingde Main Building, Renmin University of China

Summary of report:

This paper evaluates the impact of ride-sharing services on traffic congestion by analyzing the effect of Uber entries on vehicle miles travelled (VMT) in 347 US MSAs between 2009 and 2017. Empirical results show that Uber entries on average decrease the total VMT by about two percent. A further analysis indicates that Uber decreases the VMT on highways but increases the VMT on collector roads. Due to this heterogeneous effect, Uber’s effect on travel times is uncertain and depends on the share of time spent on each type of roads. All these effects come from the large MSAs and Uber entries have no effect on the VMT in smaller MSAs. These results provide guidance for policy makers aiming to mitigate traffic congestion by regulating the ride-sharing industry.

Key words: ride-sharing; traffic congestion; Uber

Brief introduction of the author:

Jingdong Pang is a lecturer in the Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Wuhan University.Education experience: Syracuse University (July 2014 -- May 2015);Xi 'an Jiaotong University (September, 2007 -- July, 2011.7;2011.9-2013.7).His research fields include urban, regional and real estate economics.He presides over the Youth Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China.His research results were published in the Journal of Applied Econometrics, Regional Science and Urban Economics.

The Spatial and Urban Economics Seminar is regularly launched by the Institute of Regional and Urban Economics, School of Applied Economics, Renmin University of China and aims to provide a platform for communication among scholars studying regional and urban economic issues in China.

Contact: Angdi Liu (