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The Price of Gasoline and New Vehicle Fuel Economy: Evidence from Monthly Sales Data

Author

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  • Thomas Klier
  • Joshua Linn

Abstract

This paper uses a unique dataset of monthly new vehicle sales by detailed model from 1978 to 2007, and implements a new identification strategy to estimate the effect of the price of gasoline on individual vehicle model sales. We control for unobserved vehicle and consumer characteristics by using within model year changes in the price of gasoline and sales. We find a significant sales response, suggesting that the gasoline price increase from 2002 to 2007 explains nearly half of the decline in market share of US manufacturers. On the other hand, an increase in the gasoline tax would only modestly raise average fuel economy. (JEL H25, L11, L62, L71)

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Klier & Joshua Linn, 2010. "The Price of Gasoline and New Vehicle Fuel Economy: Evidence from Monthly Sales Data," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 134-153, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:2:y:2010:i:3:p:134-53
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.2.3.134
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L62 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Automobiles; Other Transportation Equipment; Related Parts and Equipment
    • L71 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Hydrocarbon Fuels

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