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The Economic and Environmental Consequences of Automobile Lifetime Extension and Fuel Economy Improvement: Japan's Case


  • Shigemi Kagawa
  • Yuki Kudoh
  • Keisuke Nansai
  • Tomohiro Tasaki


The presenft paper develops a structural decomposition analysis with cumulative product lifetime distributions to estimate the effects of both product lifetime shifts and energy efficiency changes on the embodied energy consumptions. The empirical analysis focuses on automobile use (ordinary passenger vehicles, small passenger vehicles, and light passenger vehicles) in Japan during the period 1990-2000. It reveals that the lifetime extension of existing old vehicles during the study period was more beneficial to the environment than purchasing new passenger vehicles with a relatively high fuel economy, because the lifetime extension empirically contributed to reducing the embodied energy consumption at the production and end-use stages. We also found that the energy-saving impact of a one-year lifetime extension was approximately 1.3 times larger than that of the most significant technological improvement in the electric power generation sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Shigemi Kagawa & Yuki Kudoh & Keisuke Nansai & Tomohiro Tasaki, 2008. "The Economic and Environmental Consequences of Automobile Lifetime Extension and Fuel Economy Improvement: Japan's Case," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 3-28.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecsysr:v:20:y:2008:i:1:p:3-28 DOI: 10.1080/09535310801890615

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rikard Forslid & Jan I. Haaland & Karen Helene M. Knarvik & Ottar Maestad, 2002. "Integration and transition: Scenarios for the location of production and trade in Europe," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 10(1), pages 93-117, March.
    2. Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Globalization and the Inequality of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 857-880.
    3. Karl Aiginger & Stephen W. Davies, 2004. "Industrial specialisation and geographic concentration: Two sides of the same coin? Not for the European Union," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 7, pages 231-248, November.
    4. Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Diego Puga, 1998. "Agglomeration in the Global Economy: A Survey of the 'New Economic Geography'," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(6), pages 707-731, August.
    5. J.Peter Neary, 2001. "Of Hype and Hyperbolas: Introducing the New Economic Geography," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 536-561, June.
    6. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    7. repec:hhs:iuiwop:430 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Julda Kielyte, 2008. "Estimating Panel Data Models in the Presence of Endogeneity and Selection," Journal of Economics and Econometrics, Economics and Econometrics Society, vol. 51(2), pages 1-19.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nishijima, Daisuke, 2017. "The role of technology, product lifetime, and energy efficiency in climate mitigation: A case study of air conditioners in Japan," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 340-347.
    2. Shigemi Kagawa & Seiji Hashimoto & Shunsuke Managi, 2015. "Special issue: studies on industrial ecology," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 17(3), pages 361-368, July.
    3. Kurt Kratena & Michael W├╝ger, 2010. "An Intertemporal Optimisation Model of Households in an E3-Model (Economy/Energy/Environment) Framework," WIFO Working Papers 382, WIFO.
    4. Kagawa, Shigemi & Nansai, Keisuke & Kudoh, Yuki, 2009. "Does product lifetime extension increase our income at the expense of energy consumption?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 197-210.


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