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How should heavy-duty trucks be taxed?

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  • Parry, Ian W.H.

Abstract

This paper develops and implements an analytical framework for estimating optimal taxes on the fuel use and mileage of heavy-duty trucks in the United States, accounting for external costs from congestion, accidents, pavement damage, noise, energy security, and local and global pollution. The analysis allows for endogenous fuel economy, increased auto travel in response to reduced truck congestion, and distinguishes driving by truck type and region. We estimate the optimal (second-best) diesel fuel tax at $1.12 per gallon and implementing it increases welfare by $1.34 billion per annum. Optimizing over both fuel and mileage taxes, and differentiating mileage taxes by vehicle type and region, yields progressively higher welfare gains. The most efficient tax structure involves a diesel fuel tax of 69 cents per gallon and charges on trucks that vary between 7 and 33 cents per mile; implementing this tax structure yields estimated welfare gains of $2.06 billion.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 63 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 651-668

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:63:y:2008:i:2:p:651-668

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

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Keywords: Truck tax Diesel tax External costs Welfare gains;

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References

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  1. A. Lans Bovenberg & Lawrence H. Goulder, 1994. "Optimal Environmental Taxation in the Presence of Other Taxes: General Equilibrium Analyses," NBER Working Papers 4897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Edward Calthrop & Bruno De Borger & Stef Proost, 2003. "Tax reform for dirty intermediate goods: theory and an application to the taxation of freight transport," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0302, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Energy, Transport and Environment.
  3. Inge Mayeres & Denise Van Regemorter, 2003. "Modelling the health related benefits of environmental policies - a CGE analysis for the eu countries with gem-e3," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0310, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Energy, Transport and Environment.
  4. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Parry, Ian W. H. & Williams III, Roberton C. & Burtraw, Dallas, 1999. "The cost-effectiveness of alternative instruments for environmental protection in a second-best setting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 329-360, June.
  5. Willig, Robert D, 1976. "Consumer's Surplus without Apology," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 589-97, September.
  6. 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.
  7. Dahl, Carol A., 1993. "A survey of energy demand elasticities in support of the development of the NEMS," MPRA Paper 13962, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Parry, Ian W.H. & Bento, Antonio Miguel R., 1999. "Revenue recycling and the welfare effects of road pricing," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2253, The World Bank.
  9. Calthrop E. & De Borger B. & Proost S., 2006. "Externalities and partial tax reform: Does it make sense to tax road freight (but not passenger) transport?," Working Papers 2006017, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  10. Richard S.J. Tol & Samuel Fankhauser & Richard G. Richels & Joel B. Smith, 2000. "How Much Damage Will Climate Change Do? Recent Estimates," Working Papers FNU-2, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Sep 2000.
  11. Small, K. & Winston, C., 1998. ""The Demand for Transportation: Models and Applications"," Papers 98-99-6, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Clifford Winston, 2013. "On the Performance of the U.S. Transportation System: Caution Ahead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 773-824, September.
  2. Andre De Palma & Moez Kilani & Robin Lindsey, 2006. "The Economics of Truck Toll Lanes," ERSA conference papers ersa06p896, European Regional Science Association.
  3. de Palma, André & Kilani, Moez & Lindsey, Robin, 2008. "The merits of separating cars and trucks," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 340-361, September.
  4. Guerrero, Sebastian E. & Madanat, Samer M. & Leachman, Robert C., 2013. "The Trucking Sector Optimization Model: A tool for predicting carrier and shipper responses to policies aiming to reduce GHG emissions," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 85-107.
  5. 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.

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