Car buyers and fuel economy?
This research is designed to help researchers and policy makers ground their work in the reality of how US consumers are thinking and behaving with respect to automotive fuel economy. Our data are from semi-structured interviews with 57 households across nine lifestyle "sectors." We found no household that analyzed their fuel costs in a systematic way in their automobile or gasoline purchases. Almost none of these households track gasoline costs over time or consider them explicitly in household budgets. These households may know the cost of their last tank of gasoline and the unit price of gasoline on that day, but this accurate information is rapidly forgotten and replaced by typical information. One effect of this lack of knowledge and information is that when consumers buy a vehicle, they do not have the basic building blocks of knowledge assumed by the model of economically rational decision-making, and they make large errors estimating gasoline costs and savings over time. Moreover, we find that consumer value for fuel economy is not only about private cost savings. Fuel economy can be a symbolic value as well, for example among drivers who view resource conservation or thrift as important values to communicate. Consumers also assign non-monetary meaning to fuel prices, for example seeing rising prices as evidence of conspiracy. This research suggests that consumer responses to fuel economy technology and changes in fuel prices are more complex than economic assumptions suggest. The US Department of Energy and the Energy Foundation supported this research. The authors are solely responsible for the content and conclusions presented.
|Date of creation:||01 Feb 2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 2028 Academic Surge, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616|
Phone: (530) 752-6548
Web page: http://www.escholarship.org/repec/itsdavis/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Molly Espey & Santosh Nair, 2005.
"Automobile Fuel Economy: What Is It Worth?,"
Contemporary Economic Policy,
Western Economic Association International, vol. 23(3), pages 317-323, 07.
- Kurani, Kenneth S. & Turrentine, Tom & Sperling, Daniel, 1994. "Demand for Electric Vehicles in Hybrid Households: An Exploratory Analysis," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt1c29r4hr, University of California Transportation Center.
- Kurani, Kenneth S & Turrentine, Tom & Sperling, Daniel, 1994. "Demand for electric vehicles in hybrid households: an exploratory analysis," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 244-256, October.
- Pitts, Robert E & Willenborg, John F & Sherrell, Daniel L, 1981. " Consumer Adaptation to Gasoline Price Increases," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 322-30, December.
- John M. Yun, 2002. "Offsetting Behavior Effects of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(2), pages 260-270, April.
- 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.
- Train, Kenneth, 1985. "Discount rates in consumers' energy-related decisions: A review of the literature," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 10(12), pages 1243-1253.
- Roe, Terry L. & Sexauer, Benjamin & Kinsey, Jean D., 1981. "The Cost Of Inaccurate Consumer Information: The Case Of The Epa Mileage Figures," Staff Papers 13511, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
- Greene, David L., 1983. "A note on implicit consumer discounting of automobile fuel economy: Reviewing the available evidence," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 491-499, December.
- Calfee, John E., 1985. "Estimating the demand for electric automobiles using fully disaggregated probabilistic choice analysis," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 287-301, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:itsdav:qt56x845v4. 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: (Lisa Schiff)
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.