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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 21, 2022

What is the Short-Term Impact of Decreasing the Speed Limit for Motor Vehicles on Bicycle Commuting? Evidence from French Cities during Covid-19 Pandemic

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This article investigates the effect of a decrease in the speed limit for motor vehicles on bicycle commuting in French cities. I use a difference-in-differences event study design to measure a possible causal effect of motor vehicle speed limits on changes in bicycle traffic. I do not find any effect of the reduction of the speed limit from 50 km/h to 30 km/h on bicycle commuting. This result is important for public policy design, since increasing the number of bicycles is one of the benefits that politicians expect from decreasing the speed limit for motor vehicles.

JEL Classification: R40

Corresponding author: Léonard Moulin, Institut national d’études démographiques (INED), F-93300 Aubervilliers, France, E-mail:


I am grateful to Étienne Dagorn, Sebastian Kraus, Christopher Leichtnam, Marion Leturcq, Blane D. Lewis, Chloé Ramet, Paul Reeve, Ben Thies and Yann Venance, for their valuable advice. I also thank the editor, Hendrik Schmitz, and two anonymous referees for helpful comments.


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Received: 2022-08-09
Revised: 2022-11-08
Accepted: 2022-11-09
Published Online: 2022-11-21

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