Is Pay-As-You-Drive Insurance a Better Way to Reduce Gasoline than Gasoline Taxes?
AbstractGasoline taxes are widely perceived as the most efficient instrument for reducing gasoline consumption because they exploit all behavioral responses for reducing fuel use, including reduced driving and improved fuel economy. At present, however, higher fuel taxes are viewed as a political nonstarter. Pay-as-you-drive (PAYD) auto insurance, which involves replacing existing lump-sum premiums with premiums that vary in proportion to miles driven, should be more practical, since they do not raise driving costs for the average motorist. We show that when impacts on a broad range of motor vehicle externalities are considered, PAYD also induces significantly higher welfare gains than comparable gasoline tax increases, for fuel reductions below 9%. The reason is that under PAYD, all of the reduction in fuel use, rather than just a fraction, comes from reduced driving; this produces a substantial additional efficiency gain because mileage-related external costs (especially congestion and accidents) are relatively large in magnitude.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-05-15.
Date of creation: 20 Apr 2005
Date of revision:
gasoline tax; pay-as-you-drive insurance; mileage tax; welfare effects; motor vehicle externality;
Other versions of this item:
- 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.
- H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
- H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
- R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Systems - - - Government Pricing and Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-01-24 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2006-01-24 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-IAS-2006-01-24 (Insurance Economics)
- NEP-PBE-2006-01-24 (Public Economics)
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