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Competition and Car Longevity


  • Macauley, Molly

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Hamilton, Bruce


We examine determinants of the nearly 30 percent increase in the average age of domestically produced, registered automobiles since the mid-1960s. We find that very little of the increase in car longevity is attributable to improvements in the inherent durability of cars. Rather, we find that the temporal pattern of longevity improvement is highly correlated with the level of market concentration in the auto industry. In particular, we argue that the arrival of competition in the industry led to an increase in longevity largely by forcing a reduction in the price of auto maintenance and repair, which in turn induced consumers to maintain their cars into older age.

Suggested Citation

  • Macauley, Molly & Hamilton, Bruce, 1998. "Competition and Car Longevity," Discussion Papers dp-98-20, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-98-20

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    Cited by:

    1. Ufuk Demiroglu & Caglar Yunculer, 2016. "Estimating light-vehicle sales in Turkey," Central Bank Review, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, vol. 16(3), pages 93-108.
    2. Raouf Boucekkine & Fernando del Río & Blanca Martínez, 2009. "Technological progress, obsolescence, and depreciation," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 440-466, July.
    3. Karl Storchmann, 2004. "On the Depreciation of Automobiles: An International Comparison," Transportation, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 371-408, November.
    4. Raouf Boucekkine & Blanca Martínez & Fernando del Río, 2005. "Technological Progress And Depreciation," Working Papers. Serie AD 2005-22, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    5. Robert H. Porter & Peter Sattler, 1999. "Patterns of Trade in the Market for Used Durables: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Kumar, Praveen, 2002. "Price and quality discrimination in durable goods monopoly with resale trading," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(9), pages 1313-1339, November.

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