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Scrapping subsidies during the financial crisis: Evidence from Europe

  • Leheyda, Nina
  • Verboven, Frank

We study the effects of the car scrapping subsidies in Europe during the financial crisis. We make use of a rich data set of all car models sold in nine European countries, observed at a monthly level during 2005-2011.We employ a difference-in-differences approach, exploiting the fact that different countries adopted their programs at different points in time. We find that the scrapping schemes played a strong role in stabilizing total car sales in 2009: they prevented a total car sales reduction of 17.4% in countries with schemes targeted to low emission vehicles, and they prevented a 14.8% sales reduction in countries with non-targeted schemes. In contrast, the scrapping schemes only had small environmental benefits: without the schemes, average fuel consumption of new purchased cars would have been only 1.3% higher in countries with targeted schemes and 0.5% higher in countries with non-targeted schemes. We do not find evidence of crowding out due to substitution from non-eligible to eligible cars in countries with targeted schemes. Finally, we identify some competitive and trade effects from the schemes: domestic car producers benefited at the expense of foreign competitors in the countries where the schemes were not targeted.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 13-079.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:13079
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  1. Daniel Hosken & Louis Silvia & Christopher Taylor, 2011. "Does Concentration Matter? Measurement of Petroleum Merger Price Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 45-50, May.
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  10. repec:pri:cepsud:183ashenfelter is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2012. "The Effects of Fiscal Stimulus: Evidence from the 2009 Cash for Clunkers Program," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1107-1142.
  12. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. Li, Shanjun & Linn, Joshua & Spiller, Elisheba, 2013. "Evaluating “Cash-for-Clunkers”: Program effects on auto sales and the environment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 175-193.
  16. Esteban Susanna, 2007. "Effective Scrappage Subsidies," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-32, February.
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  19. Robert W. Hahn, 1995. "An Economic Analysis of Scrappage," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(2), pages 222-242, Summer.
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