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Comparing Alternative Policies to Reduce Traffic Accidents

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  • Parry, Ian

    () (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

This paper derives and implements formulas for the welfare effects of differentiated and uniform mileage taxes, gasoline taxes, and per mile insurance premiums, for reducing the external costs of passenger vehicle accidents. The model distinguishes three driver groups and five vehicle groups, and we obtain estimates of external accident costs per mile for each group from crash data. The (average) external accident cost is estimated at 2.2-6.6 cents per mile. Accidents costs differ substantially across drivers of different ages, but only moderately across different vehicles groups. Annual welfare gains from a mileage tax differentiated across drivers and vehicles according to marginal external costs are $9.4 billion in the benchmark case. The uniform mileage tax and per-mile insurance reform can achieve 76% and 65% of this welfare gain, respectively, while the gasoline tax can achieve only 28% of the welfare gain. Unlike other policies, the gasoline tax induces costly improvements in average fleet fuel economy that have little effect on reducing external costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Parry, Ian, 2003. "Comparing Alternative Policies to Reduce Traffic Accidents," Discussion Papers dp-03-07, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-03-07
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    10. Parry, Ian & Portney, Paul & Harrington, Winston & Gruenspecht, Howard, 2003. "The Economics of Fuel Economy Standards," Discussion Papers dp-03-44, Resources For the Future.
    11. Ian W. H. Parry & Kenneth A. Small, 2005. "Does Britain or the United States Have the Right Gasoline Tax?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1276-1289, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Eskeland, Gunnar S. & Mideksa, Torben K., 2008. "Transportation fuel use, technology and standards: The role of credibility and expectations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4695, The World Bank.
    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. Ian W. H. Parry & Kenneth A. Small, 2005. "Does Britain or the United States Have the Right Gasoline Tax?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1276-1289, September.
    4. 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.
    5. Hultkrantz, Lars & Nilsson, Jan-Eric & Arvidsson, Sara, 2012. "Voluntary internalization of speeding externalities with vehicle insurance," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 926-937.
    6. Parry, Ian & Strand, Jon, 2012. "International fuel tax assessment: an application to Chile," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(02), pages 127-144, April.
    7. Schrage, Andrea, 2006. "Traffic Congestion and Accidents," University of Regensburg Working Papers in Business, Economics and Management Information Systems 419, University of Regensburg, Department of Economics.
    8. Brozovic, Nicholas & Ando, Amy Whritenour, 2009. "Defensive purchasing, the safety (dis)advantage of light trucks, and motor-vehicle policy effectiveness," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 477-493, June.
    9. repec:eee:transa:v:113:y:2018:i:c:p:1-19 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Tscharaktschiew, Stefan, 2016. "The private (unnoticed) welfare cost of highway speeding behavior from time saving misperceptions," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 7, pages 24-37.
    11. Lars Hultkrantz & Gunnar Lindberg & Jan-Eric Nilsson & Fridtjof Thomas, 2005. "Pay-as-you-speed: Two field experiments on controlling adverse selection and moral hazard in traffic insurance," Framed Field Experiments 00170, The Field Experiments Website.
    12. England, Richard W., 2007. "Motor fuel taxation, energy conservation, and economic development: A regional approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2-3), pages 409-416, March.
    13. Romem, Issi & Shurtz, Ity, 2016. "The accident externality of driving: Evidence from observance of the Jewish Sabbath in Israel," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 36-54.
    14. Tsai, Jyh-Fa & Chu, Chih-Peng & Hu, Shou-Ren, 2015. "Road pricing for congestion and accident externalities for mixed traffic of motorcycles and automobiles," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 153-166.
    15. repec:taf:applec:v:49:y:2017:i:18:p:1763-1773 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Ian W. H. Parry, 2005. "Is Pay-as-You-Drive Insurance a Better Way to Reduce Gasoline than Gasoline Taxes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 288-293, May.
    17. Ian W. H. Parry & Margaret Walls & Winston Harrington, 2007. "Automobile Externalities and Policies," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(2), pages 373-399, June.
    18. Strand, Jon, 2009. "Valuing statistical lives from observations of speed limits and driving behavior," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2003:21, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    traffic accidents; external costs; pricing policies; insurance reform;

    JEL classification:

    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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