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Fuel Efficiency and Motor Vehicle Travel: The Declining Rebound Effect

  • Kenneth A. Small

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

  • Kurt Van Dender

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

We estimate the rebound effect for motor vehicles, by which improved fuel efficiency causes additional travel, using a pooled cross section of US states for 1966-2001. Our model accounts for endogenous changes in fuel efficiency, distinguishes between autocorrelation and lagged effects, includes a measure of the stringency of fuel-economy standards, and allows the rebound effect to vary with income, urbanization, and the fuel cost of driving. At sample averages of variables, our simultaneous-equations estimates of the short- and long-run rebound effect are 4.5% and 22.2%. But rising real income caused it to diminish substantially over the period, aided by falling fuel prices. With variables at 1997-2001 levels, our estimates are only 2.2% and 10.7%, considerably smaller than values typically assumed for policy analysis. With income at the 1997 – 2001 level and fuel prices at the sample average, the estimates are 3.1% and 15.3%, respectively.

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File URL: http://www.economics.uci.edu/files/docs/workingpapers/2005-06/Small-03.pdf
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Paper provided by University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 050603.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:050603
Contact details of provider: Postal: Irvine, CA 92697-3125
Phone: (949) 824-5788
Web page: http://www.economics.uci.edu/

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  1. Blair, Roger D & Kaserman, David L & Tepel, Richard C, 1984. "The Impact of Improved Mileage on Gasoline Consumption," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(2), pages 209-17, April.
  2. Parry, Ian & Portney, Paul & Harrington, Winston & Gruenspecht, Howard, 2003. "The Economics of Fuel Economy Standards," Discussion Papers dp-03-44, Resources For the Future.
  3. Parry, Ian & Small, Kenneth, 2002. "Does Britain or the United States Have the Right Gasoline Tax?," Discussion Papers dp-02-12-, Resources For the Future.
  4. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  5. West, Sarah E., 2004. "Distributional effects of alternative vehicle pollution control policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 735-757, March.
  6. David L. Greene, 1992. "Vehicle Use and Fuel Economy: How Big is the "Rebound" Effect?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 117-144.
  7. D A Hensher, 1986. "Dimensions of automobile demand: an overview of an Australian research project," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 18(10), pages 1339-1374, October.
  8. Mannering, Fred L., 1986. "A note on endogenous variables in household vehicle utilization equations," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 1-6, February.
  9. Gerard de Jong & Hugh Gunn, 2001. "Recent Evidence on Car Cost and Time Elasticities of Travel Demand in Europe," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 35(2), pages 137-160, May.
  10. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1995. "Product Differentiation and Oligopoly in International Markets: The Case of the U.S. Automobile Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 891-951, July.
  11. Robert Cervero & Mark Hansen, 2002. "Induced Travel Demand and Induced Road Investment: A Simultaneous Equation Analysis," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 36(3), pages 469-490, September.
  12. Daniel J. Graham & Stephen Glaister, 2002. "The Demand for Automobile Fuel: A Survey of Elasticities," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 36(1), pages 1-25, January.
  13. A. Greening, Lorna & Greene, David L. & Difiglio, Carmen, 2000. "Energy efficiency and consumption -- the rebound effect -- a survey," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 389-401, June.
  14. 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.
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