Evidence of a Shift in the Short-Run Price Elasticity of Gasoline Demand
Understanding the sensitivity of gasoline demand to changes in prices and income has important implications for policies related to climate change, optimal taxation and national security, to name only a few. While the short-run price and income elasticities of gasoline demand in the United States have been studied extensively, the vast majority of these studies focus on consumer behavior in the 1970s and 1980s. There are a number of reasons to believe that current demand elasticities differ from these previous periods, as transportation analysts have hypothesized that behavioral and structural factors over the past several decades have changed the responsiveness of U.S. consumers to changes in gasoline prices. In this paper, we compare the price and income elasticities of gasoline demand in two periods of similarly high prices from 1975 to 1980 and 2001 to 2006. The short-run price elasticities differ considerably and range from -0.034 to -0.077 during 2001 to 2006, versus -0.21 to -0.34 for 1975 to 1980. The estimated short-run income elasticities range from 0.21 to 0.75 and when estimated with the same models are not significantly different between the two periods. One implication of these findings is that gasoline taxes would need to be significantly larger today in order to achieve an equivalent reduction in gasoline consumption. This, coupled with the political difficulties in adopting gasoline taxes, suggests that policies and technologies designed to improve fuel economy are likely becoming relatively more attractive as a means to reduce fuel consumption.
|Date of creation:||05 Sep 2006|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616-8578|
Phone: (530) 752-0741
Fax: (530) 752-9382
Web page: http://www.econ.ucdavis.edu
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Espey, Molly, 1998. "Gasoline demand revisited: an international meta-analysis of elasticities," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 273-295, June.
- Nicol, C. J., 2003. "Elasticities of demand for gasoline in Canada and the United States," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 201-214, March.
- Eltony, M. N. & Al-Mutairi, N. H., 1995. "Demand for gasoline in Kuwait : An empirical analysis using cointegration techniques," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 249-253, July.
- Bentzen, Jan, 1994. "An empirical analysis of gasoline demand in Denmark using cointegration techniques," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 139-143, April.
- Dahl, Carol A, 1979. "Consumer Adjustment to a Gasoline Tax," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(3), pages 427-432, August.
- Puller, Steven L. & Greening, Lorna A., 1999. "Household adjustment to gasoline price change: an analysis using 9 years of US survey data," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 37-52, February.
- Dahl, Carol & Sterner, Thomas, 1991. "Analysing gasoline demand elasticities: a survey," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 203-210, July.
- Kayser, Hilke A., 2000. "Gasoline demand and car choice: estimating gasoline demand using household information," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 331-348, June.
- Alves, Denisard C. O. & De Losso da Silveira Bueno, Rodrigo, 2003. "Short-run, long-run and cross elasticities of gasoline demand in Brazil," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 191-199, March.
- Hsing, Yu, 1990. "On the variable elasticity of the demand for gasoline : The case of the USA," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 132-136, April.
- Ramsey, J B & Rasche, R & Allen, Bruce T, 1975. "An Analysis of the Private and Commercial Demand for Gasoline," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(4), pages 502-507, November.
- Richard Schmalensee & Thomas M. Stoker, 1999. "Household Gasoline Demand in the United States," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(3), pages 645-662, May.
- Ramanathan, R., 1999. "Short- and long-run elasticities of gasoline demand in India: An empirical analysis using cointegration techniques," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 321-330, August.
- Matthew E. Kahn, 2000. "The environmental impact of suburbanization," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 569-586.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:06-25. 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: (Scott Dyer)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.