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A regression on climate policy: The European Commission’s legislation to reduce CO2 emissions from automobiles

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  • Frondel, Manuel
  • Schmidt, Christoph M.
  • Vance, Colin

Abstract

As part of its efforts to reach the targets of the Kyoto Protocol, in April 2009 the European Commission enacted new legislation to reduce the per-kilometer CO2 emissions of newly registered automobiles. This paper critically assesses this legislation with respect to its economic and technological underpinnings. First, we argue that the reliance on targets based on per-kilometer emissions not only conceals the true cost of compliance and thereby stifles informed public discourse, but is also less cost-effective than alternative measures such as emissions trading. Second, the emission targets stipulated in this legislation are based on linear-regression methods that we demonstrate to be poorly justified and misleading. Using instead stochastic-frontier analysis, which is argued to more accurately reflect the industry’s technological status quo, alternative targets are consequently proposed.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

Volume (Year): 45 (2011)
Issue (Month): 10 ()
Pages: 1043-1051

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Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:45:y:2011:i:10:p:1043-1051

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Keywords: Technological progress; Private automobiles; Efficiency standards;

References

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  1. Manuel Frondel & Jorg Peters & Colin Vance, 2008. "Identifying the Rebound: Evidence from a German Household Panel," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 145-164.
  2. Manuel Frondel & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2006. "The Empirical Assessment of Technology Differences: Comparing the Comparable," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 186-192, February.
  3. Manuel Frondel & Colin Vance, 2008. "Do High Oil Prices Matter? – Evidence on the Mobility Behavior of German Households," Ruhr Economic Papers 0072, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  4. Sterner, Thomas, 2007. "Fuel taxes: An important instrument for climate policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 3194-3202, June.
  5. Kumbhakar,Subal C. & Lovell,C. A. Knox, 2003. "Stochastic Frontier Analysis," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521666633.
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Cited by:
  1. Frondel, Manuel & Ritter, Nolan & Vance, Colin, 2012. "Heterogeneity in the rebound effect: Further evidence for Germany," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 461-467.
  2. Frondel, Manuel & Lohmann, Steffen, 2011. "The European Commission's light bulb decree: Another costly regulation?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 3177-3181, June.
  3. Mabit, Stefan L., 2014. "Vehicle type choice under the influence of a tax reform and rising fuel prices," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 32-42.
  4. Manuel Frondel & Colin Vance, 2013. "Fuel Taxes versus Efficiency Standards – An Instrumental Variable Approach," Ruhr Economic Papers 0445, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  5. Manuel Frondel & Colin Vance, 2011. "Future Pain at the Diesel Pump? Potential Eff ects of the European Commission’s Energy Taxation Proposal," Ruhr Economic Papers 0280, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  6. Manuel Frondel and Colin Vance, 2013. "Re-Identifying the Rebound: What About Asymmetry?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4).

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