The Energy-Policy Efficiency Gap: Was There Ever Support for Gasoline Taxes?
From 1864 to 1972, the real price of oil fell by, on average, over one percent per year. This trend dramatically broke when prices for crude increased by over 650 percent from 1972 to 1980. Policy makers adopted several policies designed to keep oil prices in check and reduce consumption. Missing from these policies were taxes on either oil or gasoline, prompting a long economics literature documenting the inefficiencies of these alternative policies. In this paper, I review the policy discussion related to the transportation sector that occurred during the time through the lens of the printed press. In doing so, I pay particular attention to whether gasoline taxes were "on the table," as well as how consumers viewed the inefficient set of policies that were ultimately adopted. The discussions at the time suggest that meaningful changes in gasoline taxes were on the table; the public discussion seemed to be much greater than it is today. Some in Congress and many presidential advisors in the Nixon, Ford, and, Carter administrations supported and proposed gasoline taxes. The main roadblocks for taxes were Congress and the American people. Polling evidence at the time suggests that consumers preferred price controls and rationing and vehicle taxes over higher gasoline taxes or letting gasoline prices clear the market. Given the saliency of rationing and vehicle taxes, it seems difficult to argue that these alternative polices were adopted because they hide their true costs.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support Tax Policy and the Economy Vol. 28, No. 1, January 2014 The Political Econom... Tax Policy and the Economy The Political Economy of Gasoline Taxes: Lessons from the Oil Embargo Christopher R. Knittel Tax Policy and the Economy Vol. 28, No. 1 (January 2014), pp. 97-131 Published by: The University of Chicago Press DOI: 10.1086/675589|
|Note:||EEE IO POL|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Alan A. Tait & David R. Morgan, 1980. "Gasoline Taxation in Selected OECD Countries, 1970-79 (Taxation de l'essence dans certains pays de l'OCDE, 1970-79) (Los impuestos a la gasolina en un grupo de paÃses miembros de la OCDE, 1970-79)," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(2), pages 349-379, June.
- Smith, Rodney T, 1982. "An Economic Analysis of Income Growth by U.S. Oil Firms: The Roles of U.S. Oil Regulation and OPEC," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(4), pages 427-78, October.
- Christopher R. Knittel, 2012.
"Reducing Petroleum Consumption from Transportation,"
NBER Working Papers
17724, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Christopher R. Knittel, 2012. "Reducing Petroleum Consumption from Transportation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 93-118, Winter.
- Deacon, Robert T & Sonstelie, Jon, 1985. "Rationing by Waiting and the Value of Time: Results from a Natural Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 627-47, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18685. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.