Thursday, June 17, 2021
I study the effects of a tax on ride-sharing trips in Chicago, which was nominally motivated by a desire to reduce congestion, but which also affected competition between ride-sharing platforms and traditional taxis. I find that platforms passed through more than 100% of the tax to consumers taking single rides, but there was incomplete pass-through to shared rides. This pattern can be explained by the two-sidedness of the market. The tax shifted demand back to taxis, but only in the downtown area, where competition is more intense. Finally, I find that the tax did not significantly reduce congestion and a simple calibration suggests that it lowered consumer surplus by over $300,000 per day.