The next RITM Economics Seminar will take place on Monday 10 May, from 11:00 to 12:00. Mariona Segú (INED) will present “Bike-friendly cities: opportunity or challenge for local businesses ?” co-wrinttin with Federica Daniele, Youssouf Camara et David Bounie.
Despite many existing narrative accounts, sound quantitative assessments of the consequences of bike infrastructure development for local economic activity are scarce. We conduct an empirical evaluation of the impact of a large-scale infrastructure project, the construction of the Plan Vélo in the city of Paris, on businesses operating in the non-tradables sector. We find that bike infrastructure development increases the volume but reduces the average size of card transactions, showing a positive but not statistically significant impact on total value. Our results are robust to several robustness tests. Next, we construct a market access measure before and after the deployment of the new infrastructure. Using this alternative metric, we find that bike infrastructure development robustly increases the volume of card transactions, a measure of the degree of competition in the non-tradables sector, but it has no statistically significant impact on the average size of transactions. This finding is consistent with the fact that heterogeneous changes in travel time impact the decision on where to shop (but not how much).