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Automobile Prices, Gasoline Prices, and Consumer Demand for Fuel Economy

Author

Listed:
  • Ashley Langer

    (Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley)

  • Nathan H. Miller

    (Economic Analysis Group, Antitrust Division, Department of Justice)

Abstract

The relationship between gasoline prices and the demand for vehicle fuel efficiency is important for environmental policy but poorly understood in the academic literature. We provide empirical evidence that automobile manufacturers price as if consumers respond to gasoline prices. We derive a reduced-form regression equation from theoretical micro-foundations and estimate the equation with nearly 300,000 vehicle-week-region observations over the period 2003-2006. We find that vehicle prices generally decline in the gasoline price. The decline is larger for inefficient vehicles, and the prices of particularly efficient vehicles actually rise. Structural estimation that ignores these effects underestimates consumer preferences for fuel efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Ashley Langer & Nathan H. Miller, 2008. "Automobile Prices, Gasoline Prices, and Consumer Demand for Fuel Economy," EAG Discussions Papers 200811, Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.
  • Handle: RePEc:doj:eagpap:200811
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    File URL: https://www.justice.gov/atr/public/eag/240080.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Adam Copeland & Wendy E. Dunn & George J. Hall, 2005. "Prices, production, and inventories over the automotive model year," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-25, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Ron Alquist & Lutz Kilian, 2010. "What do we learn from the price of crude oil futures?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 539-573.
    3. Dora Gicheva & Justine Hastings & Sofia Villas-Boas, 2007. "Revisiting the Income Effect: Gasoline Prices and Grocery Purchases," NBER Working Papers 13614, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Antonio M. Bento & Lawrence H. Goulder & Emeric Henry & Mark R. Jacobsen & Roger H. von Haefen, 2005. "Distributional and Efficiency Impacts of Gasoline Taxes: An Econometrically Based Multi-market Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 282-287.
    5. Shanjun Li & Christopher Timmins & Roger H. von Haefen, 2009. "How Do Gasoline Prices Affect Fleet Fuel Economy?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 113-137, August.
    6. Carol Corrado & Wendy E. Dunn & Maria Ward Otoo, 2006. "Incentives and prices for motor vehicles: what has been happening in recent years?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-09, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Erin Baker, 2012. "Option Value and the Diffusion of Energy Efficient Products," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4).
    2. Beschorner, Patrick Frank Ernst, 2008. "Do Shorter Product Cycles Induce Patent Thickets?," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-098, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. Arawomo, Damilola F. & Osigwe, Augustine C., 2016. "Nexus of fuel consumption, car features and car prices: Evidence from major institutions in Ibadan," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 1220-1228.
    4. Yizao Liu, 2010. "Gasoline Prices, Fuel Economy Efficiency And Automobile Replacement Dynamics," Working Papers 02, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
    5. Scholtus, Martin & van Dijk, Dick & Frijns, Bart, 2014. "Speed, algorithmic trading, and market quality around macroeconomic news announcements," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 89-105.
    6. Bruno De Borger & Jan Rouwendal, 2014. "Car User Taxes, Quality Characteristics, and Fuel Efficiency Household Behaviour and Market Adjustment," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 48(3), pages 345-366, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Automobiles; Gasoline; Consumer Preference; Demand; Fuel Efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects

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