Policy Equity, Acceptance & Compliance

Mobility is a highly regulated human activity. The range of urban transport policies reflects varying and often conflicting values about efficiency, fairness, acceptance, and the limits of government control. The success of a transport policy hinges on its compatibility with the behavioral responses from the public and context-specific social norms and social goals. JTL attempts to make these normative foundations of transport policies explicit and assess whether policies actually achieve these aspirations. We emphasize the importance of three closely linked policy parameters: public perception of fairness, policy acceptance and policy compliance.

Morality vs. Legitimacy: Why do the Chinese Obey the Law, Gao, Jingkang, and Zhao Jinhua , working paper, (Submitted)

Social scientists and legal scholars have long approached understanding the rule of law in China through history, traditions, and cultural attributes. We take an empirical and individual-based rather than normative and aggregate approach in this paper. We implement a questionnaire survey of 1,000 drivers in Shanghai in March 2016 to explore compliance with a wide range of laws from long-established laws such as those inhibiting public disturbance and traffic violations to laws necessitated...

Superficial Fairness of Transportation Policies: Case of Beijing’s Car License Lottery, Zhao, Jinhua, and Wang Shenhao , Journal of the American Planning Association, (Submitted)

Problem, Research Strategy, and Findings 
“Fairness,” though commonly invoked as an evaluative metric in transportation policy, remains an ambiguous concept. This paper provides a three-layer framework for assessing the fairness of transportation policies. The first layer differentiates substantive, perceived, and procedural fairness; the second layer concerns the concrete rules of assessing these three aspects; the third layer concerns the categorization of people. The framework also...

Traffic Law Compliance by Chinese Drivers: Demographics and Motivations, Gao, Jingkang, and Zhao Jinhua , Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting, (Submitted)

Research on Chinese traffic law compliance is lacking compared to the West. Yet it is increasingly important because of explosive recent growth of cars in China. Although demographic attributes such as age and gender and certain driver characteristics such as experience and annual mileage have been studied in regard to traffic law compliance, normative and instrumental motivations for compliance have not been thoroughly studied. Normative motivations specifically have not been fully...

Policy Knowledge and Attitude: Can we Improve Policy Acceptance by Informing the Public?, Li, Menghan, and Zhao Jinhua , 08/2015, Washington, D.C., (2016)

Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies contribute to controlling traffic and long-term sustainability. However, low public acceptance of TDM is a major barrier to their implementation. However, among all the factors that have been hypothesized to influence public attitude towards transportation policy, few focuses on policy knowledge. Using Shanghai License Plate Auction (LPA) policy as an example, this paper measures the public’s received knowledge of the policy (i.e. awareness...

Normative and Image Motivations for Compliance with Sustainable Transportation Policy, Gao, Jingkang, and Zhao Jinhua , Urban Studies, Washington, D.C., (In Press)

A high level of non-compliance with policies aimed to protect common pool resources necessitates investigation into motivations behind compliance so that policies could be tailored to raise compliance level. Compliance with such protection policies of common pool resources such as car control policies instituted in Chinese cities aimed to reduce congestion and pollution is critical to ensuring sustainable development. In 1994 Shanghai instituted a monthly license plate auction policy to...

Bidding to Drive: Car License Auction Policy in Shanghai and Its Public Acceptance, Chen, Xiaojie, and Zhao Jinhua , Journal of Transport Policy, Volume 27, p.39–53, (2012)

Increased automobile ownership and use in China over the last two decades has increased energy consumption, worsened air pollution, and exacerbated congestion. However, the countrywide growth in car ownership conceals great variation among cities. For example, Shanghai and Beijing each had about 2 million motor vehicles in 2004, but by 2010, Beijing had 4.8 million motor vehicles whereas Shanghai had only 3.1 million. Among the factors contributing to this divergence is Shanghai’s vehicle...

Modeling Saliency in Transportation Pricing: Optimal Mixture of Automobile Management Policies, Michel, Alyona, and Zhao Jinhua , Transportation Research Board 94th Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., (2015)

We introduce the advantage of behavioral economics into the transportation policy evaluation criteria that traditional economic approaches do not consider. To that end, we present a framework for using tax salience as a connection between the dimensions of government policy objectives (revenue, behavior change, and public acceptance) with tax instruments (car ownership charge, fuel tax, congestion tax, parking fee) meant to influence behavior. Salience is the psychological effect of paying...

Superficial Fairness of Beijing's Vehicle License Lottery Policy, Zhao, Jinhua, and Wang Shenhao , Journal of American Planning Association, Washington, D.C., (Submitted)

The challenges that result from rising auto ownership in developing nations are undeniable. One way of meeting these challenges on the demand side is to restrict auto ownership. But the specifics of these restrictions determine who gains and loses from the policy. This paper examines the equity implications of Beijing’s car license lottery, implemented in 2011. It evaluates equity in the car license lottery policy both qualitatively through the review of policy documents, and quantitatively...

Team Member

Shenhao Wang's picture
PhD Student
Jeffrey Rosenblum's picture
PhD Candidate
Yonah Freemark's picture
PhD Candidate
Menghan Li's picture
MST Student
Jake Gao's picture
MST Student
Jinhua Zhao's picture
Edward H. and Joyce Linde Assistant Professor
Jungwoo Chun's picture
PhD Student