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Evaluating US Fuel Economy Standards in a Model with Producer and Household Heterogeneity

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  • Mark R. Jacobsen

Abstract

This paper employs an empirically estimated model to study the equilibrium effects of an increase in the US corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards. I identify and model heterogeneity across firms and find that the profit impacts of CAFE fall almost entirely on domestic producers. The welfare analyses consider the simultaneous household decision of vehicle and miles traveled, allowing direct comparison with a gasoline tax. Finally, I consider dynamic impacts in the used car market. I find these comprise nearly half the gross welfare cost of CAFE and fall disproportionately on low-income households. Contrary to previous results, the overall welfare costs are regressive. (JEL H24, L51, L62)

Suggested Citation

  • Mark R. Jacobsen, 2013. "Evaluating US Fuel Economy Standards in a Model with Producer and Household Heterogeneity," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 148-187, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:5:y:2013:i:2:p:148-87
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.5.2.148
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ian W. H. Parry & Margaret Walls & Winston Harrington, 2007. "Automobile Externalities and Policies," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(2), pages 373-399, June.
    2. Austin, David & Dinan, Terry, 2005. "Clearing the air: The costs and consequences of higher CAFE standards and increased gasoline taxes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 562-582, November.
    3. Soren T. Anderson & James M. Sallee, 2011. "Using Loopholes to Reveal the Marginal Cost of Regulation: The Case of Fuel-Economy Standards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1375-1409, June.
    4. Kenneth A. Small & Kurt Van Dender, 2007. "Fuel Efficiency and Motor Vehicle Travel: The Declining Rebound Effect," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 25-52.
    5. West, Sarah E., 2004. "Distributional effects of alternative vehicle pollution control policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 735-757, March.
    6. Thomas Klier & Joshua Linn, 2012. "New‚Äźvehicle characteristics and the cost of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(1), pages 186-213, March.
    7. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1998. "The Effects of the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency Standards in the US," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 1-33, March.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L62 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Automobiles; Other Transportation Equipment; Related Parts and Equipment

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    1. Evaluating US Fuel Economy Standards in a Model with Producer and Household Heterogeneity (AEJ:EP 2013) in ReplicationWiki

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