Life and Death at the CAFE: Predicting the Impact of Fuel Economy Standards on Vehicle Safety
AbstractRecent changes to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards in the United States mandate substantial improvement in automobile fuel economy over the next fteen years. One of the ways that manufacturers improve fuel economy is to lower vehicle weights, which has impacts on safety. The innovation of this project is a novel maximum likelihood model that avoids issues of driver selection to separately identify the impact of vehicle weight on accident mortality. The key findings of the paper are: (1) A modest 5% average reduction in vehicle weight could increase annual accident fatalities by 4.9% or decrease them by 3.4% depending upon whether the reductions are concentrated at the lighter or heavier end of the current weight distribution; (2) Safety externalities attributiable to vehicle weight substantially exceed environmental ones; and (3) The relationship between vehicle weight and external safety effects is such that a simple Pigovian excise tax on gasoline is unlikely to much improve effciency.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Wesleyan University, Department of Economics in its series Wesleyan Economics Working Papers with number 2012-002.
Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Whitefoot, Kate S. & Skerlos, Steven J., 2012. "Design incentives to increase vehicle size created from the U.S. footprint-based fuel economy standards," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 402-411.
- West, Sarah E. & Williams III, Roberton C., 2007. "Optimal taxation and cross-price effects on labor supply: Estimates of the optimal gas tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 593-617, April.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Manolis Kaparakis).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.