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Evidence of asymmetric behavioral responses to changes in gasoline prices and taxes for different fuel types

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  • Bajo-Buenestado, Raúl

Abstract

Using monthly data from the Spanish gasoline retail market we explore asymmetries in consumers’ behavioral responses to changes in gasoline prices and taxes. In particular, we are interested in investigating whether an increase in gasoline taxes has a more negative impact on the demand than a –similar in magnitude– increase in the “pre-tax” price of gasoline for different fuel types. We estimate fuel consumers’ responses using a rich set of robust panel data models considering potential dynamic effects and endogeneity problems. We find evidence to confirm the existence of asymmetric responses for the demand of unleaded fuels and agricultural diesel fuel. However we cannot support this statement for the regular diesel case: for this fuel both the tax-exclusive price and the tax elasticities are roughly the same. This result agrees with the fact that “diesel drivers” tend to be better informed about changes in both fuel prices and taxes. Some implications in terms of fiscal policy and pollution and climate change policy are also discussed.

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  • Bajo-Buenestado, Raúl, 2016. "Evidence of asymmetric behavioral responses to changes in gasoline prices and taxes for different fuel types," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 119-130.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:96:y:2016:i:c:p:119-130
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2016.05.028
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