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Defensive purchasing, the safety (dis)advantage of light trucks, and motor-vehicle policy effectiveness

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  • Brozovic, Nicholas
  • Ando, Amy Whritenour

Abstract

We model motor-vehicle choice when a consumer's utility from a particular vehicle depends in part on that vehicle's expected safety, and thus on the vehicle choices made by other consumers with which (s)he may collide. Calibration of model parameters suggests that light trucks do impose an externality on cars and that increasing the proportion of light trucks in the fleet harms truck and car owners alike. The marginal private cost of accidents from light truck ownership relative to cars is of ambiguous sign and may even represent a large safety disadvantage. Analyses that omit expected vehicle safety will overestimate the impacts of policies such as gasoline taxes or changes to fuel economy standards on the fleet, and underestimate the impacts of vehicle crash-compatibility design changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Brozovic, Nicholas & Ando, Amy Whritenour, 2009. "Defensive purchasing, the safety (dis)advantage of light trucks, and motor-vehicle policy effectiveness," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 477-493, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transb:v:43:y:2009:i:5:p:477-493
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Andre De Palma & Moez Kilani & Robin Lindsey, 2006. "The Economics of Truck Toll Lanes," ERSA conference papers ersa06p896, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Santos, Georgina & Behrendt, Hannah & Maconi, Laura & Shirvani, Tara & Teytelboym, Alexander, 2010. "Part I: Externalities and economic policies in road transport," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 2-45.
    3. Castillo-Manzano, José I. & Castro-Nuño, Mercedes & Fageda, Xavier, 2016. "Exploring the relationship between truck load capacity and traffic accidents in the European Union," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 94-109.
    4. de Palma, André & Kilani, Moez & Lindsey, Robin, 2008. "The merits of separating cars and trucks," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 340-361, September.
    5. Small, Kenneth A., 2012. "Energy policies for passenger motor vehicles," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 874-889.
    6. Todd K. BenDor, 2012. "The System Dynamics of U.S. Automobile Fuel Economy," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(5), pages 1-30, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Q58 R41 D62 D11 Motor-vehicle safety Network externalities Light trucks CAFE standards;

    JEL classification:

    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory

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