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Another Look at U.S. Passenger Vehicle Use and the 'Rebound' Effect from Improved Fuel Efficiency

Clifton T Jones

Year: 1993
Volume: Volume14
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol14-No4-6
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Abstract:
Recently, Greene (1992) analyzed vehicle miles travelled for U.S. passenger vehicles over 1966-89 to econometrically estimate the "rebound" effect in fuel consumption resulting from improved fuel efficiency. He found that a static AR(1) model could not be rejected, implying that the rebound effect is small (13%) with no significant long-run adjustments, regardless of the assumed functional form(linear or loglinear). Another look at the data from a different model selection approach shows that while a loglinear AR(1) model is acceptable, the linear version is not. Using either form, a lagged dependent variable model cannot be rejected on statistical grounds yet has insignificant GNP effects, yielding similarly small short-run rebound effects but significant long-run rebound effects of about 30%. Thus, the evidence from these competing models for a significant long-run adjustment process is mixed, so that its presence cannot be completely ruled out.



The Rebound Effect for Passenger Vehicles

Joshua Linn

Year: 2016
Volume: Volume 37
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.37.2.jlin
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Abstract:
The United States and many other countries are dramatically tightening fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles. Higher fuel economy reduces per-mile driving costs and may increase miles traveled, known as the rebound effect. The magnitude of the elasticity of miles traveled to fuel economy is an important parameter in welfare analysis of fuel economy standards, but all previous estimates from micro data impose at least one of three behavioral assumptions: (a) fuel economy is uncorrelated with vehicle and household attributes; (b) for multi-vehicle households, each vehicle can be treated as an independent observation in statistical analysis; and (c) the effect of gasoline prices on vehicle miles traveled is inversely proportional to the effect of fuel economy. Two approaches to relaxing these assumptions yield a large estimate of the rebound effect; a one percent fuel economy increase raises driving 0.2 or 0.4 percent, depending on the approach, but the estimates are not statistically significantly different from one another.



What is the Effect of Fuel Efficiency Information on Car Prices? Evidence from Switzerland

Anna Alberini, Markus Bareit and Massimo Filippini

Year: 2016
Volume: Volume 37
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.37.3.aalb
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Abstract:
Inadequate information is often identified as a potential cause for the so-called "energy efficiency gap," i.e., the sluggish pace of investment in energy efficiency technologies, which potentially affects a wide variety of energy-using goods, including road vehicles. To improve the fuel economy of vehicles, in 2003 Switzerland introduced a system of fuel economy and CO2 emissions labels for new passenger cars, based on grades from A (best) to G (worst). We have data for all cars approved for sale in Switzerland from 2000 to 2011. Hedonic regressions suggest that there is a fuel-economy premium, but do not allow us to identify whether the fuel economy label has an additional effect on car price, above and beyond the effect of fuel economy. To circumvent this problem, we turn to a sharp regression discontinuity design based on the mechanism used by the government to assign cars to the fuel economy label, which estimates the effect of the A label on price to be 6-11%. Matching estimators find this effect to be 5%.



Explaining the Evolution of Passenger Vehicle Miles Traveled in the United States

Benjamin Leard, Joshua Linn, and Clayton Munnings

Year: 2019
Volume: Volume 40
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.40.1.blea
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Abstract:
After growing steadily for several decades, passenger vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the United States unexpectedly leveled off in the 2000s. The growth rate of VMT has since rebounded, and determining the factors that explain these developments has implications for future U.S. oil consumption and vehicle pollution. We show that changes in the demographics and economic characteristics of households in the United States, rather than in driving habits, explain most of the recent dynamics. This suggests that over the next decade, VMT in the United States will continue to grow roughly at historical rates, causing substantially higher oil consumption and pollution than if persistent changes in driving habits explained the recent changes in VMT. The projected VMT growth will raise the cost of meeting energy security, climate, and local air quality objectives.





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