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Automobile Fuel Economy Standards: Impacts, Efficiency, and Alternatives

  • Soren T. Anderson
  • Carolyn Fischer
  • Ian Parry
  • James M. Sallee

This paper discusses fuel economy regulations in the United States and other countries. We first describe how these programs affect the automobile market, including their impacts on fuel use and other dimensions of the vehicle fleet. We then review different methodologies for assessing the costs of fuel economy regulations and discuss what the results of these methodologies imply for policy. Following that, we compare the welfare effects of fuel economy regulations to those of fuel taxes and assess whether or not these two policies can be complements. Finally, we review arguments for transitioning away from fuel economy regulations towards a "feebate" system.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16370.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16370.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Publication status: published as Soren T. Anderson & Ian W. H. Parry & James M. Sallee & Carolyn Fischer, 2011. "Automobile Fuel Economy Standards: Impacts, Efficiency, and Alternatives," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Oxford University Press for Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(1), pages 89-108, Winter.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16370
Note: EEE PE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Philippe Barla & Stef Proost, 2008. "Automobile fuel efficiency policies with international innovation spillovers," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces0817, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  2. 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.
  3. Thomas Klier & Joshua Linn, 2012. "New‐vehicle characteristics and the cost of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(1), pages 186-213, 03.
  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 667-99, June.
  5. Parry, Ian & Fischer, Carolyn & Harrington, Winston, 2004. "Should Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards Be Tightened?," Discussion Papers dp-04-53, Resources For the Future.
  6. Shanjun Li, 2012. "Traffic safety and vehicle choice: quantifying the effects of the ‘arms race’ on American roads," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 34-62, 01.
  7. Fischer, Carolyn, 2010. "Imperfect Competition, Consumer Behavior, and the Provision of Fuel Efficiency in Light-Duty Vehicles," Discussion Papers dp-10-60, Resources For the Future.
  8. Fischer, Carolyn, 2005. "On the importance of the supply side in demand-side management," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 165-180, January.
  9. Christopher R. Knittel, 2009. "Automobiles on Steroids: Product Attribute Trade-Offs and Technological Progress in the Automobile Sector," NBER Working Papers 15162, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Tol, Richard S. J., 2008. "The Economic Impact of Climate Change," Papers WP255, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  11. Aldy, Joseph E. & Krupnick, Alan J. & Newell, Richard G. & Parry, Ian W.H. & Pizer, William A., 2009. "Designing Climate Mitigation Policy," Discussion Papers dp-08-16, Resources For the Future.
  12. Richard S. J. Tol, 2009. "The Economic Effects of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 29-51, Spring.
  13. Sarah E. West & Roberton C. Williams III, 2005. "The Cost of Reducing Gasoline Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 294-299, May.
  14. Sarah E. West & Roberton C. Williams III, 2002. "Estimates from a Consumer Demand System: Implications for the Incidence of Environmental Taxes," NBER Working Papers 9152, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Kahn, James A, 1986. "Gasoline Prices and the Used Automobile Market: A Rational Expectations Asset Price Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 323-39, May.
  16. Fischer, Carolyn, 2008. "Comparing flexibility mechanisms for fuel economy standards," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 3106-3114, August.
  17. Soren T. Anderson & James M. Sallee, 2011. "Using Loopholes to Reveal the Marginal Cost of Regulation: The Case of Fuel-Economy Standards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1375-1409, June.
  18. Dominika Kalinowska & Kerim Keser & Uwe Kunert, 2009. "CO2 Based Taxation on Cars Is Rising in Europe," Weekly Report, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 5(23), pages 159-170.
  19. Brown, Stephen P.A. & Huntington, Hillard G., 2010. "Reassessing the Oil Security Premium," Discussion Papers dp-10-05, Resources For the Future.
  20. 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.
  21. Steve Newbold & Charles Griffiths & Christopher C. Moore & Ann Wolverton & Elizabeth Kopits, 2010. "The "Social Cost of Carbon" Made Simple," NCEE Working Paper Series 201007, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Aug 2010.
  22. Greene, David L. & Patterson, Philip D. & Singh, Margaret & Li, Jia, 2005. "Feebates, rebates and gas-guzzler taxes: a study of incentives for increased fuel economy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 757-775, April.
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