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Comparing alternative policies to reduce traffic accidents

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  • Parry, Ian W. H.

Abstract

This paper derives and implements formulas for the welfare effects of differentiated and uniform mileage taxes, gasoline taxes, and per mile insurance premiums, for reducing the external costs of passenger vehicle accidents. The model distinguishes three driver groups and five vehicle groups, and we obtain estimates of external accident costs per mile for each group from crash data. The (average) external accident cost is estimated at 2.2-6.6 cents per mile. Accidents costs differ substantially across drivers of different ages, but only moderately across different vehicles groups. Annual welfare gains from a mileage tax differentiated across drivers and vehicles according to marginal external costs are $9.4 billion in the benchmark case. The uniform mileage tax and per-mile insurance reform can achieve 76% and 65% of this welfare gain, respectively, while the gasoline tax can achieve only 28% of the welfare gain. Unlike other policies, the gasoline tax induces costly improvements in average fleet fuel economy that have little effect on reducing external costs.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 56 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (September)
Pages: 346-368

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:56:y:2004:i:2:p:346-368

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

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  1. Parry, Ian & Small, Kenneth, 2002. "Does Britain or the United States Have the Right Gasoline Tax?," Discussion Papers dp-02-12-, Resources For the Future.
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  4. Parry, Ian & Portney, Paul & Harrington, Winston & Gruenspecht, Howard, 2003. "The Economics of Fuel Economy Standards," Discussion Papers dp-03-44, Resources For the Future.
  5. Small, Kenneth A. & Gomez-Ibanez, Jose A., 1999. "Urban transportation," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 1937-1999 Elsevier.
  6. Aaron S. Edlin, 2003. "Per-Mile Premiums for Auto Insurance," Law and Economics 0303001, EconWPA.
  7. Peltzman, Sam, 1975. "The Effects of Automobile Safety Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 677-725, August.
  8. Steven D. Levitt & Jack Porter, 2001. "Sample Selection In The Estimation Of Air Bag And Seat Belt Effectiveness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 603-615, November.
  9. Kleit, Andrew N., 2002. "Impacts of Long-Range Increases in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standard," Working paper 289, Regulation2point0.
  10. Jones-Lee, M W, 1990. "The Value of Transport Safety," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 39-60, Summer.
  11. Mannering, Fred & Winston, Clifford, 1995. "Automobile Air Bags in the 1990s: Market Failure or Market Efficiency?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 265-79, October.
  12. Janusz R. Mrozek & Laura O. Taylor, 2002. "What determines the value of life? a meta-analysis," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(2), pages 253-270.
  13. Crandall, Robert W & Graham, John D, 1989. "The Effect of Fuel Economy Standards on Automobile Safety," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 97-118, April.
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  16. Edlin, Aaron S., 1999. "Per-Mile Premiums for Auto Insurance," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt06g53189, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Parry, Ian & Portney, Paul & Harrington, Winston & Gruenspecht, Howard, 2003. "The Economics of Fuel Economy Standards," Discussion Papers dp-03-44, Resources For the Future.
  2. Parry, Ian & Strand, Jon, 2012. "International fuel tax assessment: an application to Chile," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(02), pages 127-144, April.
  3. Strand, Jon, 2009. "Valuing statistical lives from observations of speed limits and driving behavior," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2003:21, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.
  4. Schrage, Andrea, 2006. "Traffic Congestion and Accidents," University of Regensburg Working Papers in Business, Economics and Management Information Systems 419, University of Regensburg, Department of Economics.
  5. Ian W. H. Parry, 2005. "Is Pay-as-You-Drive Insurance a Better Way to Reduce Gasoline than Gasoline Taxes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 288-293, May.
  6. Gunnar Lindberg & Lars Hultkrantz & Jan-Eric Nilsson & Fridtjof Thomas, 2005. "Pay-as-you-speed: Two field experiments on controlling adverse selection and moral hazard in traffic insurance," Framed Field Experiments 00170, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. Ian W. H. Parry & Kenneth A. Small, 2005. "Does Britain or the United States Have the Right Gasoline Tax?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1276-1289, September.
  8. Parry, Ian & Fischer, Carolyn & Harrington, Winston, 2004. "Should Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards Be Tightened?," Discussion Papers dp-04-53, Resources For the Future.
  9. Brozovic, Nicholas & Ando, Amy Whritenour, 2009. "Defensive purchasing, the safety (dis)advantage of light trucks, and motor-vehicle policy effectiveness," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 477-493, June.
  10. Hultkrantz, Lars & Nilsson, Jan-Eric & Arvidsson, Sara, 2012. "Voluntary internalization of speeding externalities with vehicle insurance," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 926-937.
  11. England, Richard W., 2007. "Motor fuel taxation, energy conservation, and economic development: A regional approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2-3), pages 409-416, March.
  12. Eskeland, Gunnar S. & Mideksa, Torben K., 2008. "Transportation fuel use, technology and standards: The role of credibility and expectations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4695, The World Bank.

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