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Comparing Alternative Policies to Reduce Traffic Accidents

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  • Parry, Ian

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

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

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-03-07.

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Date of creation: 31 Dec 2003
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-03-07

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Keywords: traffic accidents; external costs; pricing policies; insurance reform;

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References

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  1. Aaron S. Edlin, 2003. "Per-Mile Premiums for Auto Insurance," Law and Economics 0303001, EconWPA.
  2. Steven D. Levitt & Jack Porter, 2001. "How Dangerous Are Drinking Drivers?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(6), pages 1198-1237, December.
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  5. Newbery, David M G, 1987. "Road User Charges in Britain," CEPR Discussion Papers 174, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Parry, Ian & Portney, Paul & Harrington, Winston & Gruenspecht, Howard, 2003. "The Economics of Fuel Economy Standards," Discussion Papers dp-03-44, Resources For the Future.
  9. J. Daniel Khazzoom, 1997. "Impact of Pay-at-the-Pump on Safety Through Enhanced Vehicle Fuel Efficiency," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 103-133.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Small, K.A. & Gomez-Ibanez, J.A., 1996. "Urban Transportation," Papers 95-96-4, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  15. 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.
  16. Kleit, Andrew N., 2002. "Impacts of Long-Range Increases in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standard," Working paper 289, Regulation2point0.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Parry, Ian & Portney, Paul & Harrington, Winston & Gruenspecht, Howard, 2003. "The Economics of Fuel Economy Standards," Discussion Papers dp-03-44, Resources For the Future.
  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. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  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. Parry, Ian W.H. & Walls, Margaret & Harrington, Winston, 2007. "Automobile Externalities and Policies," Discussion Papers dp-06-26, Resources For the Future.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Ian W.H. Parry & Jon Strand, 2011. "International Fuel Tax Assessment," IMF Working Papers 11/168, International Monetary Fund.

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