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How Do Gasoline Prices Affect Fleet Fuel Economy?

Shanjun Li (), Roger von Haefen and Christopher Timmins

No 14450, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Exploiting a rich data set of passenger vehicle registrations in twenty U.S. metropolitan statistical areas from 1997 to 2005, we examine the effects of gasoline prices on the automotive fleet's composition. We find that high gasoline prices affect fleet fuel economy through two channels: (1) shifting new auto purchases towards more fuel-efficient vehicles, and (2) speeding the scrappage of older, less fuel-efficient used vehicles. Policy simulations based on our econometric estimates suggest that a 10% increase in gasoline prices from 2005 levels will generate a 0.22% increase in fleet fuel economy in the short run and a 2.04% increase in the long run.

JEL-codes: H23 L62 Q31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008-10
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Published as Shanjun Li & Christopher Timmins & Roger H. von Haefen, 2009. "How Do Gasoline Prices Affect Fleet Fuel Economy?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 113-37, August.

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