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Study Overview

Impact Evaluation of Lahore's Metrobus
Study is 3ie funded:
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This study aims to quantify the effects of a new urban mass transit line, the Lahore Metrobus, and on labor market outcomes, housing and real estate markets, and urban density. We use a quasi-experimental design to identify its effects. Areas near Metrobus stations (T1) are compared to those near lines that are currently being built (T2) or that were planned but never implemented (C ontrol). Within these areas we select sample areas from each group that are comparable on observables at baseline.

Registration Citation:

Vyborny, K., Majid, H. and Malik, A., 2016. Impact Evaluation of Lahore's Metrobus. Registry for International Development for Impact Evaluations (RIDIE). Available at: 10.23846/ridie088

Urban Development
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Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Katherine Vyborny
Duke University
Name of Second PI:
Hadia Majid & Ammar Malik
Lahore University of Management Sciences (Majid); Urban Institute (Malik)

Study Sponsor

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Intervention Overview


We study the Lahore Metrobus (T1), a Bus Rapid Transit line in urban Lahore, Pakistan, completed in early 2013, as well as the Lahore Orange Line (T2), a light rail line covering different neighborhoods of the same metropolis, currently under construction. Both lines were built by the Government of Punjab in order to reduce the time and cost required for individuals to commute to work, especially from areas on the outskirts of the city, as well as to reduce time and cost for travel for other purposes.

Theory of Change:
Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
Government of Punjab
Type of Organization:
Public Sector, e.g. Government Agency or Ministry

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
Government of Punjab
Type of Organization:
Public Sector, e.g. Government Agency or Ministry

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
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Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

Primary (or First) Evaluation Method:
Natural experiment
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Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:

This study uses areas that would have been served by planned and cancelled lines as a quasi-experimental control group to compare with the areas that are served by the Lahore Metrobus. We obtained a map of this original plan developed by the Government of Punjab as a part of the Lahore Urban Transport Masterplan. We also obtained a household survey dataset commissioned by the government and collected in 2012 in the areas covered by the masterplan. We used these data to select a set of urban zones that cover our Treatment 1 (Metrobus - construction completed in 2013), Treatment 2 (Orange line - currently under construction), and full Control (cancelled lines). The T2 group (Orange line) serves as a means to test for anticipation effects such as immediate effects on real estate prices. For outcomes that plausibly do not change in anticipation of the line, T2 and C can be used together as an expanded control group. We used a Mahalanobis match to select areas that are well-balanced on key characteristics at baseline between the treatment groups. We are currently carrying out follow-up data collection with a new sample of households in these selected zones.

Outcomes (Endpoints):

1. Commute cost and time, conditional on no employment change 2. Labor market outcomes a) Participation - extensive margin (working outside the home) b) Participation - intensive margin (hours) c) Location of employment d) Wages 3. Migration 4. Housing prices a) Rental b) Sale 5. Density of local businesses (observed in field) 6. Density of buildings (observed from satellite data) Where possible, measures are being collected for current (2015/6) and recall (2012 and 2009), so the data form a retrospective panel. We will make the full set of instruments public for transparency on the measure collected. We will also use a secondary survey, the 2012 government Lahore Master Plan HIS survey, as a baseline for repeat cross-section analysis for comparison.

Unit of Analysis:
For labor market outcomes: individual. For real estate outcomes: sample point (data are reported by one respondent per sample point). For satellite outcomes: grid cells.
Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
Urban zones
Number of Clusters in Sample:
Number of Individuals in Sample:
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
T1: 15 zones. T2: 29 zones. Full control: 6 zones.

Supplementary Files

Analysis Plan:
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Outcomes Data

We are conducting a survey of approximately 12,000 HHs. This is the main dataset for analysis and is referenced in the questions below. We are also surveying local real estate agents / key informants (one per enumeration block). Finally, we are using publicly available satellite imagery to study urban density. We are also collecting qualitative interviews in a smaller number of areas as well as a smaller survey of BRT riders. We plan to use these data for descriptive analysis.
Data Already Collected?
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Restricted -- Access requires a formal approval process
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
We are collecting the data and it would be used for this study for a set period of time before being released to other researchers.
Approval Status:
Yes-obtained approval and have received the data

Treatment Assignment Data

Participation or Assignment Information:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Previously Used?
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Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
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Data Analysis

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Study Materials

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Registration Category

Registration Category:
Prospective, Category 3: Data for measuring impacts have been obtained/collected by the research team but analysis for this evaluation has not started

Completion Overview

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Preliminary Report:
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Data Availability

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Other Materials

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Description of Changes:

Study Stopped