IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Abatement strategies and the cost of environmental regulation: Emission standards on the European car market


  • REYNAERT, Mathias


Emission standards are one of the major policy tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. The welfare effects from this type of regulation depend on how ?firms choose to abate emissions: by changing relative prices, by downsizing their fleet or by adopting technology. This paper studies the response of firms to a new emission standard in the European car market using panel data covering 1998-2011. The data show that firms choose to comply with the regulation by adopting new technology. To evaluate the welfare effects of the regulation I estimate a structural model using data from before the policy announcement and explicitly test the ability of the model to explain the observed responses. I find that, because the abatement is done by technology adoption, consumer welfare increases and overall welfare effects depend on market failures in the technology market. The design of the regulation matters to induce technology adoption.

Suggested Citation

  • REYNAERT, Mathias, 2014. "Abatement strategies and the cost of environmental regulation: Emission standards on the European car market," Working Papers 2014025, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:2014025

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2010. "The Credibility Revolution in Empirical Economics: How Better Research Design Is Taking the Con out of Econometrics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 3-30, Spring.
    2. Reynaert, Mathias & Verboven, Frank, 2014. "Improving the performance of random coefficients demand models: The role of optimal instruments," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 179(1), pages 83-98.
    3. Soren T. Anderson & James M. Sallee, 2011. "Using Loopholes to Reveal the Marginal Cost of Regulation: The Case of Fuel-Economy Standards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1375-1409, June.
    4. Deters, Henning, 2010. "Legislating on car emissions: What drives standards in EU environmental policy?," TranState Working Papers 142, University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597: Transformations of the State.
    5. Philippe Aghion & Antoine Dechezleprêtre & David Hémous & Ralf Martin & John Van Reenen, 2016. "Carbon Taxes, Path Dependency, and Directed Technical Change: Evidence from the Auto Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(1), pages 1-51.
    6. Hausman, Jerry A & Leonard, Gregory K, 2002. "The Competitive Effects of a New Product Introduction: A Case Study," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 237-263, September.
    7. Ying Fan, 2013. "Ownership Consolidation and Product Characteristics: A Study of the US Daily Newspaper Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1598-1628, August.
    8. Michael L. Anderson & Maximilian Auffhammer, 2014. "Pounds That Kill: The External Costs of Vehicle Weight," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(2), pages 535-571.
    9. Aamir Rafique Hashmi & Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2016. "The Relationship between Market Structure and Innovation in Industry Equilibrium: A Case Study of the Global Automobile Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(1), pages 192-208, March.
    10. Stephen P. Holland & Jonathan E. Hughes & Christopher R. Knittel, 2009. "Greenhouse Gas Reductions under Low Carbon Fuel Standards?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 106-146, February.
    11. Nevo, Aviv, 2001. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 307-342, March.
    12. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1998. "The Effects of the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency Standards in the US," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 1-33, March.
    13. Koichiro Ito & James M. Sallee, 2014. "The Economics of Attribute-Based Regulation: Theory and Evidence from Fuel-Economy Standards," NBER Working Papers 20500, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Aamir Rafique Hashmi & Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2016. "The Relationship between Market Structure and Innovation in Industry Equilibrium: A Case Study of the Global Automobile Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(1), pages 192-208, March.
    15. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-890, July.
    16. Kenneth I. Wolpin & Petra E. Todd, 2006. "Assessing the Impact of a School Subsidy Program in Mexico: Using a Social Experiment to Validate a Dynamic Behavioral Model of Child Schooling and Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1384-1417, December.
    17. Hunt Allcott & Nathan Wozny, 2012. "Gasoline Prices, Fuel Economy, and the Energy Paradox," NBER Working Papers 18583, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Grigolon, Laura & Reynaert, Mathias & Verboven, Frank, 2014. "Consumer valuation of fuel costs and the effectiveness of tax policy: Evidence from the European car market," CEPR Discussion Papers 10301, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. Whitefoot, Kate S. & Skerlos, Steven J., 2012. "Design incentives to increase vehicle size created from the U.S. footprint-based fuel economy standards," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 402-411.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Durrmeyer, Isis & Samano, Mario, 2016. "To Rebate or Not to Rebate: Fuel Economy Standards vs. Feebates?," TSE Working Papers 16-732, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised May 2017.
    2. Mathias Reynaert & James M. Sallee, 2016. "Corrective Policy and Goodhart's Law: The Case of Carbon Emissions from Automobiles," NBER Working Papers 22911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Pavan, Giulia, 2017. "Green Car Adoption and the Supply of Alternative Fuels," TSE Working Papers 17-875, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    4. Anna Matas Prat & Josep Lluís Raymond Bara & Jorge Andrés Domínguez Moreno, 2016. "Changes in fuel economy: An analysis of the Spanish car market," Working Papers wpdea1608, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
    5. Alfonso Leme & Josep-Oriol Escardíbul, 2016. "The effect of a specialized versus a general upper secondary school curriculum on students’ performance and inequality. A difference-in-differences cross country country comparison," Working Papers 2016/16, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    6. Réquillart, Vincent & Soler, Louis-Georges & Zang, Yu, 2016. "Quality standards versus nutritional taxes: Health and welfare impacts with strategic firms," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 268-285.
    7. Soren T. Anderson & James M. Sallee, 2016. "Designing Policies to Make Cars Greener: A Review of the Literature," NBER Working Papers 22242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. D’Haultfœuille, Xavier & Durrmeyer, Isis & Février, Philippe, 2016. "Disentangling sources of vehicle emissions reduction in France: 2003–2008," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 186-229.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy
    • L62 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Automobiles; Other Transportation Equipment; Related Parts and Equipment
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:2014025. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joeri Nys). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.