The impact of a transportation intervention on electoral politics: Evidence from E-ZPass

Connor T. Jerzak*, Brian Libgober

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


How do transportation policies impact electoral politics? Empirically, the question is difficult to answer because policies that create new transit opportunities may involve a large number of community effects. In this manuscript, we focus on a unique kind of transportation intervention—the replacement of human-operated with electronic tolls on highways—which economic theory predicts should have a concentrated effect on local property values. We find that the shift in local property values following a government program to introduce electronic tolling is correlated with a subsequent change in support for conservative candidates in presidential elections. Geographically-linked exit polling data suggests that concern over taxation is the primary observable mechanisms. To show robustness, we use various measures, one of which is computed at the individual level. We also present placebo analyses to address worries that the correlations are driven by community change, turnout, or rising incomes. Remaining limitations are also considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100809
JournalResearch in Transportation Economics
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Electoral politics
  • Electronic tolling
  • Property values
  • Public opinion
  • Traffic congestion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of a transportation intervention on electoral politics: Evidence from E-ZPass'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this