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How Do Gasoline Prices Affect Fleet Fuel Economy?

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Author Info

  • Shanjun Li
  • Christopher Timmins
  • Roger H. von Haefen

Abstract

Exploiting a rich dataset of passenger vehicle registrations in 20 US MSAs from 1997 to 2005, we examine the effects of gasoline prices on the automotive fleet's composition. We find that high gasoline prices affect fleet fuel economy through two channels: shifting new auto purchases towards more fuel-efficient vehicles, and speeding the scrappage of older, less fuel-efficient used vehicles. Policy simulations suggest that a 10 percent increase in gasoline prices from 2005 levels will generate a 0.22 percent increase in fleet fuel economy in the short run and a 2.04 percent increase in the long run. (JEL H25, L11, L69, L71)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/pol.1.2.113
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 113-37

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:1:y:2009:i:2:p:113-37

Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.1.2.113
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  1. William C. Wheaton, 1982. "The Long-Run Structure of Transportation and Gasoline Demand," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 439-454, Autumn.
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  4. Thomas H. Klier & Joshua Linn, 2009. "The price of gasoline and the demand for fuel economy: evidence from monthly new vehicles sales data," Working Paper Series WP-09-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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  11. Brown, Jennifer & Hastings, Justine & Mansur, Erin T. & Villas-Boas, Sofia B., 2008. "Reformulating competition Gasoline content regulation and wholesale gasoline prices," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-19, January.
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  16. Anna Alberini & Winston Harrington & Virginia McConnell, 1995. "Determinants of Participation in Accelerated Vehicle-Retirement Programs," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(1), pages 93-112, Spring.
  17. Christopher Knittel & Daniel Sperling, 2006. "Evidence of a Shift in the Short-Run Price Elasticity of Gasoline Demand," Working Papers 625, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  18. Sarah E. West & Roberton C. Williams III, 2005. "The Cost of Reducing Gasoline Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 294-299, May.
  19. Jonathan Haughton & Soumodip Sarkar, 1996. "Gasoline Tax as a Corrective Tax: Estimates for the United States, 1970-1991," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 103-126.
  20. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  21. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1995. "Product Differentiation and Oligopoly in International Markets: The Case of the U.S. Automobile Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 891-951, July.
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