The Effect of Annual Changes in Automobile Fuel Economy Standards
Since 1978 the Federal government has regulated the fuel economy of new cars sold in the United States. The purpose of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards is to lessen the national dependence on foreign oil. Through the use of theoretical and empirical models this paper examines the impact of CAFE standards on the automobile industry and on energy consumption. It is shown that CAFE standards may or may not save energy. If CAFE does save energy, it does so at a prohibitive cost to the economy. CAFE standards are also shown to have a number of perverse impacts on the automobile industry as well as consumers. Copyright 1990 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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