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Gasoline Tax as a Corrective Tax: Estimates for the United States, 1970-1991

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  • Jonathan Haughton
  • Soumodip Sarkar

Abstract

Gasoline consumption creates externalities, through pollution, road congestion, accidents, and import dependence. Mat effect would a higher gasoline tax have on the related magnitudes: gasoline consumption, miles driven, and road fatalities? In this paper, separate models are estimated for gasoline use per mile, miles driven per driver, and fatalities per mile driven. We use data from 50 U.S. states and DC for 1970 through 1991, with a variety of stochastic specifications. The own-price elasticity of demand for gasoline is derived from projections with, and without, a higher gasoline tax, and is found to be between -0.12 and -0.17 in the short-run, and between -0.23 and -0.35 in the long-run. A tax of $1 per gallon would cut use by 15-20%, miles driven by 11-12%, and fatalities by 16 18% over 10 years, while raising almost $100 billion in revenue annually.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Haughton & Soumodip Sarkar, 1996. "Gasoline Tax as a Corrective Tax: Estimates for the United States, 1970-1991," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 103-126.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:1996v17-02-a06
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas, Brinda A. & Azevedo, Inês L., 2013. "Estimating direct and indirect rebound effects for U.S. households with input–output analysis Part 1: Theoretical framework," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 199-210.
    2. Hymel, Kent M. & Small, Kenneth A. & Dender, Kurt Van, 2010. "Induced demand and rebound effects in road transport," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(10), pages 1220-1241, December.
    3. Zhang, Yue-Jun & Peng, Hua-Rong & Liu, Zhao & Tan, Weiping, 2015. "Direct energy rebound effect for road passenger transport in China: A dynamic panel quantile regression approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 303-313.
    4. Anas, Alex & Hiramatsu, Tomoru, 2012. "The effect of the price of gasoline on the urban economy: From route choice to general equilibrium," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 855-873.
    5. Greene, David L., 2012. "Rebound 2007: Analysis of U.S. light-duty vehicle travel statistics," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 14-28.
    6. repec:eee:ecomod:v:223:y:2011:i:1:p:32-40 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Jean Agras & Duane Chapman, 1999. "The Kyoto Protocol, Cafe Standards, And Gasoline Taxes," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 17(3), pages 296-308, July.
    8. Yizao Liu, 2010. "Gasoline Prices, Fuel Economy Efficiency And Automobile Replacement Dynamics," Working Papers 02, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
    9. Moshiri, Saeed & Aliyev, Kamil, 2017. "Rebound effect of efficiency improvement in passenger cars on gasoline consumption in Canada," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 330-341.
    10. Greene, David L, 1998. "Why CAFE worked," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(8), pages 595-613, July.
    11. Shanjun Li & Christopher Timmins & Roger H. von Haefen, 2009. "How Do Gasoline Prices Affect Fleet Fuel Economy?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 113-137, August.
    12. Su, Qing, 2012. "A quantile regression analysis of the rebound effect: Evidence from the 2009 National Household Transportation Survey in the United States," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 368-377.
    13. Agostini, Claudio A. & Jiménez, Johanna, 2015. "The distributional incidence of the gasoline tax in Chile," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 243-252.
    14. Agostini, Claudio, 2010. "Differential fuel taxes and their effects on automobile demand," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), December.
    15. Elisheba Spiller & Heather Stephens & Christopher Timmins & Allison Smith, 2014. "The Effect of Gasoline Taxes and Public Transit Investments on Driving Patterns," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 59(4), pages 633-657, December.
    16. Spiller, Elisheba & Stephens, Heather M. & Timmins, Christopher & Smith, Allison, 2012. "Does the Substitutability of Public Transit Affect Commuters’ Response to Gasoline Price Changes?," Discussion Papers dp-12-29, Resources For the Future.
    17. Sorrell, Steve & Dimitropoulos, John & Sommerville, Matt, 2009. "Empirical estimates of the direct rebound effect: A review," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1356-1371, April.
    18. Plotkin, Steven E & Greene, David, 1997. "Prospects for improving the fuel economy of light-duty vehicles," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(14-15), pages 1179-1188, December.
    19. Kent M. Hymel & Kenneth Small, 2014. "The Rebound Effect for Automobile Travel:Asymmetric Response to Price Changes and Novel Features of the 2000s," Working Papers 141503, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    20. Su, Qing, 2011. "Induced motor vehicle travel from improved fuel efficiency and road expansion," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(11), pages 7257-7264.
    21. Yoshitsugu Kanemoto, 2000. "Global Warming and Transport Policies," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-71, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    22. Madowitz, M. & Novan, K., 2013. "Gasoline taxes and revenue volatility: An application to California," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 663-673.
    23. Thomas, Brinda A. & Azevedo, Inês L., 2013. "Estimating direct and indirect rebound effects for U.S. households with input–output analysis. Part 2: Simulation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 188-198.

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