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Distributional Effects of Air Pollution from Electric Vehicle Adoption

In: Energy Policy Tradeoffs between Economic Efficiency and Distributional Equity

Author

Listed:
  • Stephen P. Holland
  • Erin T. Mansur
  • Nicholas Z. Muller
  • Andrew J. Yates

Abstract

We examine the distributional effects of changes in local air pollution from driving electric vehicles in the United States. We employ an econometric model to estimate power plant emissions and an integrated assessment model to value damages in air pollution from both electric and gasoline vehicles. Using the locations of currently registered electric vehicles, we find that people living in census block groups with median income greater than about $65,000 receive positive environmental benefits from these vehicles while those below this threshold receive negative environmental benefits. Asian and Hispanic residents receive positive environmental benefits, but White and Black residents receive negative environmental benefits. In multivariate analyses, environmental benefits are positively correlated with income and urban measures, conditional on racial composition. In addition, conditional on income and urbanization, separate regressions find environmental benefits to be positively related with Asian and Hispanic block-group population shares, negatively correlated with White share, and uncorrelated with Black share. Environmental benefits tend to be larger in states offering purchase subsidies. However, for these states, an increase in subsidy size is associated with a decrease in created environmental benefits.
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Suggested Citation

  • Stephen P. Holland & Erin T. Mansur & Nicholas Z. Muller & Andrew J. Yates, 2016. "Distributional Effects of Air Pollution from Electric Vehicle Adoption," NBER Chapters, in: Energy Policy Tradeoffs between Economic Efficiency and Distributional Equity, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:14215
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Shanjun Li & Lang Tong & Jianwei Xing & Yiyi Zhou, 2017. "The Market for Electric Vehicles: Indirect Network Effects and Policy Design," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(1), pages 89-133.
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    3. Graff Zivin, Joshua S. & Kotchen, Matthew J. & Mansur, Erin T., 2014. "Spatial and temporal heterogeneity of marginal emissions: Implications for electric cars and other electricity-shifting policies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 248-268.
    4. Stephen P. Holland & Erin T. Mansur & Nicholas Z. Muller & Andrew J. Yates, 2016. "Are There Environmental Benefits from Driving Electric Vehicles? The Importance of Local Factors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(12), pages 3700-3729, December.
    5. Muller Nicholas Z, 2011. "Linking Policy to Statistical Uncertainty in Air Pollution Damages," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-29, June.
    6. Mendelsohn, Robert, 1980. "An economic analysis of air pollution from coal-fired power plants," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 30-43, March.
    7. Nicholas Z. Muller & Robert Mendelsohn, 2009. "Efficient Pollution Regulation: Getting the Prices Right," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1714-1739, December.
    8. Archsmith, James & Kendall, Alissa & Rapson, David, 2015. "From Cradle to Junkyard: Assessing the Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Benefits of Electric Vehicles," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 72-90.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mark Colas & John M. Morehouse, 2022. "The environmental cost of land‐use restrictions," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 13(1), pages 179-223, January.
    2. Durrmeyer, Isis, 2018. "Winners and Losers: The Distributional Effects of the French Feebate on the Automobile Market," TSE Working Papers 18-950, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    3. Stephen P. Holland & Erin T. Mansur & Nicholas Z. Muller & Andrew J. Yates, 2020. "Decompositions and Policy Consequences of an Extraordinary Decline in Air Pollution from Electricity Generation," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 244-274, November.
    4. Shengrun Zhang & Frank Witlox, 2019. "Analyzing the Impact of Different Transport Governance Strategies on Climate Change," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(1), pages 1-20, December.
    5. Isis Durrmeyer, 2021. "Winners and Losers: The Distributional Effects of the French Feebate on the Automobile Market," Post-Print hal-03514846, HAL.
    6. Sager, Lutz, 2019. "Income inequality and carbon consumption: Evidence from Environmental Engel curves," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(S1).
    7. Adler, David & Severnini, Edson R., 2020. "Timing Matters: Shifting Economic Activity and Intra-Day Variation in Ambient Ozone Concentrations," IZA Discussion Papers 13428, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Xing, Jianwei & Leard, Benjamin & Li, Shanjun, 2021. "What does an electric vehicle replace?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 107(C).
    9. Mattauch, Linus & Zhao, Jiaxin, 2021. "When standards have better distributional consequences than carbon taxes," INET Oxford Working Papers 2020-25, Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford.
    10. Qiu, Yueming Lucy & Wang, Yi David & Iseki, Hiroyuki & Shen, Xingchi & Xing, Bo & Zhang, Huiming, 2022. "Empirical grid impact of in-home electric vehicle charging differs from predictions," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    11. Holland, Stephen P. & Mansur, Erin T. & Muller, Nicholas Z. & Yates, Andrew J., 2021. "The environmental benefits of transportation electrification: Urban buses," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 148(PA).
    12. Timothy Fitzgerald & Kevin Hassett & Cody Kallen & Casey B. Mulligan, 2020. "An Analysis of Vice President Biden's Economic Agenda: The Long Run Impacts of its Regulation, Taxes, and Spending," Working Papers 2020-157, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    13. Andor, Mark A. & Gerster, Andreas & Peters, Jörg & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2020. "Social Norms and Energy Conservation Beyond the US," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 103(C).
    14. Peng, Wei & Yang, Junnan & Lu, Xi & Mauzerall, Denise L., 2018. "Potential co-benefits of electrification for air quality, health, and CO2 mitigation in 2030 China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 218(C), pages 511-519.
    15. Stephen P. Holland & Erin T. Mansur & Andrew J. Yates, 2021. "The Electric Vehicle Transition and the Economics of Banning Gasoline Vehicles," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 316-344, August.
    16. Tao, Ye & Huang, Miaohua & Chen, Yupu & Yang, Lan, 2020. "Orderly charging strategy of battery electric vehicle driven by real-world driving data," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 193(C).
    17. Harding, Matthew & Kettler, Kyle & Lamarche, Carlos & Ma, Lala, 2021. "The (Alleged) Environmental and Social Benefits of Dynamic Pricing," IZA Discussion Papers 14846, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Shittu, Ekundayo & Weigelt, Carmen, 2022. "Accessibility in sustainability transitions: U.S. electric utilities’ deployment of solar," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 165(C).
    19. Erin T. Mansur & Glenn Sheriff, 2019. "Do Pollution Markets Harm Low Income and Minority Communities? Ranking Emissions Distributions Generated by California's RECLAIM Program," NBER Working Papers 25666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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