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Fuel Economy Standards, New Vehicle Sales, and Average Fuel Efficiency

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  • Thorpe, Steven G

Abstract

The average fuel efficiency of new automobiles sold in the United States increased substantially from 1975 to 1981. This trend stagnated in 1981, however, and average fuel efficiency has actually fallen since 1987. Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards--the major policy tool in the United States directed at improving fuel efficiency--may have contributed to the stagnation and decline of average fuel efficiency by shifting automobile sales toward lower mileage vehicles. This paper illustrates how changes in vehicle sales act to dilute the intended effects of CAFE standards, and can actually lead to a decrease in average fuel efficiency. Copyright 1997 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Thorpe, Steven G, 1997. "Fuel Economy Standards, New Vehicle Sales, and Average Fuel Efficiency," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 311-326, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:regeco:v:11:y:1997:i:3:p:311-26
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Al-Alawi, Baha M. & Bradley, Thomas H., 2014. "Analysis of corporate average fuel economy regulation compliance scenarios inclusive of plug in hybrid vehicles," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 1323-1337.
    3. Ullman, Darin F., 2016. "A difficult road ahead: Fleet fuel economy, footprint-based CAFE compliance, and manufacturer incentives," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 94-105.
    4. Rasha Ahmed & Kathleen Segerson, 2007. "Emissions Control and the Regulation of Product Markets: The Case of Automobiles," Working papers 2007-40, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    5. Claudio A. , Agostini & Johanna, Jiménez, 2012. "La incidencia distributiva del impuesto a las gasolinas en Chile," Estudios Públicos, Centro de Estudios Públicos, vol. 0(126), pages 53-85.
    6. Paul R. Portney & Ian W.H. Parry & Howard K. Gruenspecht & Winston Harrington, 2003. "Policy Watch: The Economics of Fuel Economy Standards," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 203-217, Fall.
    7. Agostini, Claudio A. & Jiménez, Johanna, 2015. "The distributional incidence of the gasoline tax in Chile," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 243-252.
    8. 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.
    9. Rubin, Jonathan & Leiby, Paul N. & Greene, David L., 2009. "Tradable fuel economy credits: Competition and oligopoly," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 315-328, November.
    10. Clerides, Sofronis & Zachariadis, Theodoros, 2008. "The effect of standards and fuel prices on automobile fuel economy: An international analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 2657-2672, September.
    11. Parry, Ian & Portney, Paul & Harrington, Winston & Gruenspecht, Howard, 2003. "The Economics of Fuel Economy Standards," Discussion Papers dp-03-44, Resources For the Future.
    12. Parry, Ian & Fischer, Carolyn & Harrington, Winston, 2004. "Should Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards Be Tightened?," Discussion Papers dp-04-53, Resources For the Future.
    13. Liu, Yimin & Helfand, Gloria E., 2009. "The Alternative Motor Fuels Act, alternative-fuel vehicles, and greenhouse gas emissions," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(8), pages 755-764, October.

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