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The Effect of Public Policies on Consumers' Preferences: Lessons from the French Automobile Market

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  • D'Haultfoeuille, Xavier
  • Durrmeyer, Isis
  • Février, Philippe

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate whether French consumers have modified their preferences towards environmentally-friendly vehicles between 2003 and 2008. We estimate a model of demand for automobiles incorporating both consumers' heterogeneity and CO2 emissions of the vehicles. Our results show that there has been a shift in preferences towards low-emitting cars, with an average increase of 367 euros of the willingness to pay for a reduction of 10 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer. We also stress a large heterogeneity in the evolution of preferences between consumers. Rich and young people are more sensitive to environmental issues, and our results are in line with votes for the green party at the presidential elections. We relate these changes with two environmental policies that were introduced at these times, namely the obligation of indicating energy labels by the end of 2005 and a feebate based on CO2 emissions of new vehicles in 2008. Our results suggest that such policies have been efficient tools to shift consumers utility towards environmentally-friendly goods, the shift in preferences accounting for 20% of the overall decrease in average CO2 emissions of new cars on the period.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 422.

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Date of creation: 10 Oct 2013
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Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:422

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Keywords: environmental policy; consumers' preferences; CO2 emissions; automobiles;

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References

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  1. Xavier d'Haultfoeuille & Pauline Givord & Xavier Boutin, 2012. "The environmental Effect of Green Taxation : The case of the french "Bonus/Malus"," Working Papers 2012-13, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
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  13. Jerome Adda & Russell Cooper, 2000. "Balladurette and Juppette: A Discrete Analysis of Scrapping Subsidies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 778-806, August.
  14. Aviv Nevo, 2000. "A Practitioner's Guide to Estimation of Random-Coefficients Logit Models of Demand," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 513-548, December.
  15. Huse, Cristian & Lucinda, Claudio, 2013. "The Market Impact and the Cost of Environmental Policy: Evidence from the Swedish Green Car Rebate," MPRA Paper 48905, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. Bar-Ilan, Avner & Blinder, Alan S, 1992. "Consumer Durables: Evidence on the Optimality of Usually Doing Nothing," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 24(2), pages 258-72, May.
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