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Vehicle ownership and usage charges

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  • Muthukrishnan, Subhashini

Abstract

We present a simple model to study the welfare effects of a shift from ownership to usage taxes for cars. We consider a model in which a single representative consumer derives utility from consuming two goods--consumption of motor vehicle kilometers, and an aggregate consumption good treated as numeraire. We characterize the optimal consumption of car kilometers by a representative car user and find that a shift from ownership towards usage taxes is not necessarily welfare-improving: while a revenue-neutral shift makes the representative car user worse off; a utility-neutral shift leads to a significant loss of revenue to the government. An empirical analysis based on Singapore data is also consistent with our theoretical results.

Suggested Citation

  • Muthukrishnan, Subhashini, 2010. "Vehicle ownership and usage charges," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 398-408, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:17:y:2010:i:6:p:398-408
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Phang, Sock-Yong & Wong, Wing-Keung & Chia, Ngee-Choon, 1996. "Singapore's experience with car quotas : Issues and policy processes," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 145-153, October.
    2. Ngee-Choon Chia & Albert K. C. Tsui & John Whalley, 2001. "Ownership and Use Taxes as Congestion Correcting Instruments," NBER Working Papers 8278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Stopher, Peter R., 2004. "Reducing road congestion: a reality check," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 117-131, April.
    4. Willoughby, C., 2001. "Singapore's motorization policies 1960-2000," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 125-139, April.
    5. Chin, Anthony & Smith, Peter, 1997. "Automobile ownership and government policy: The economics of Singapore's vehicle quota scheme," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 129-140, March.
    6. Delucchi, Mark & Murphy, James & McCubbin, Donald, 2002. "The Health and Visibility Cost of Air Pollution: A Comparison of Estimation Methods," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt03s2x9xb, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    7. De Jong, G. C., 1990. "An indirect utility model of car ownership and private car use," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 971-985, July.
    8. Barter, Paul A., 2005. "A vehicle quota integrated with road usage pricing: A mechanism to complete the phase-out of high fixed vehicle taxes in Singapore," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(6), pages 525-536, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chu, Singfat, 2012. "Allocation flexibility and price efficiency within Singapore’s Vehicle Quota System," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1541-1550.
    2. Bénédicte Meurisse & Maxime Le Roy, 2014. "Towards a clean vehicle fleet: from households’ valuation of fuel efficiency to policy implications," Working Papers 1406, Chaire Economie du climat.
    3. Fu, Miao & Andrew Kelly, J., 2012. "Carbon related taxation policies for road transport: Efficacy of ownership and usage taxes, and the role of public transport and motorist cost perception on policy outcomes," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 57-69.

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