The impact of curbside parking regulations on car ownership

Daniel Albalate, Albert Gragera*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Car ownership is a major driver of household travel behavior, and has implications on transport demand, energy consumption, emission levels and land use. However, how curbside parking regulations (i.e. paid parking) affect car ownership remains unclear. Here, we employ a two-way fixed effect model using panel data and difference-in-differences estimations to determine the causal impact of changes in parking regulations and the impact of an extension of a city-wide parking policy in Barcelona. Our results show that the introduction of paid curbside parking to reduce non-resident/visitor demand had a positive impact on resident car ownership levels (who enjoy parking permits for free or at a very low cost – 1€/week). Our calculation of the net social cost of reallocating curbside parking to residents indicates that the costs derived from the residents’ parking subsidy and their likely increase in car usage can easily offset the benefits derived from visitor-trip deterrence, showing the relevance of the tradeoff between efficiency and acceptability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103518
JournalRegional Science and Urban Economics
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Parking regulations
  • Car ownership
  • Policy evaluation
  • Difference-in-differences

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