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Value of Time: Speeding Behavior and Gasoline Prices

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  • Wolff, Hendrik

    () (Simon Fraser University)

Abstract

Do drivers reduce speeds when gasoline prices are high? Previous research investigating this energy conservation hypothesis produced mixed results. We take a fresh look at the data and estimate a significant negative relationship between speeding and gasoline prices. This presents a new methodology of deriving the 'Value of Time' (VOT) based on the intensive margin (previous VOT studies compare across the extensive margin) which has important advantages to circumvent potential omitted variable problems. While our VOT is 50% of the gross wage rate, we show that previous stated preference estimates are likely downward, whereas previous revealed preference estimates are systematically upward biased. We discuss implications, as VOT today is a key parameter in economics and policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Wolff, Hendrik, 2012. "Value of Time: Speeding Behavior and Gasoline Prices," IZA Discussion Papers 6788, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6788
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nicholas E. Burger & Daniel T. Kaffine, 2009. "Gas Prices, Traffic, and Freeway Speeds in Los Angeles," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 652-657, August.
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    3. 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.
    4. Antonio M. Bento & Lawrence H. Goulder & Mark R. Jacobsen & Roger H. von Haefen, 2009. "Distributional and Efficiency Impacts of Increased US Gasoline Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 667-699, June.
    5. John Calfee & Clifford Winston & Randolph Stempski, 2001. "Econometric Issues In Estimating Consumer Preferences From Stated Preference Data: A Case Study Of The Value Of Automobile Travel Time," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 699-707, November.
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    7. 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.
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    9. Austin, David & Dinan, Terry, 2005. "Clearing the air: The costs and consequences of higher CAFE standards and increased gasoline taxes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 562-582, November.
    10. Vickrey, William S, 1969. "Congestion Theory and Transport Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 251-260, May.
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    12. Thomas Klier & Joshua Linn, 2010. "The Price of Gasoline and New Vehicle Fuel Economy: Evidence from Monthly Sales Data," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 134-153, August.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. How to infer the value of time from gasoline prices
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-10-29 19:11:00

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    Cited by:

    1. van Benthem, Arthur, 2015. "What is the optimal speed limit on freeways?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 44-62.
    2. Fezzi, Carlo & Bateman, Ian J. & Ferrini, Silvia, 2014. "Using revealed preferences to estimate the Value of Travel Time to recreation sites," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 58-70.
    3. Röpke, Luise, 2013. "The development of renewable energies and supply security: A trade-off analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1011-1021.
    4. Tscharaktschiew, Stefan, 2014. "Shedding light on the appropriateness of the (high) gasoline tax level in Germany," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 189-210.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gasoline price; speeding; value of time;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • Q26 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Recreational Aspects of Natural Resources
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise

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