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The Effect of Fuel Economy Standards on Vehicle Weight Dispersion and Accident Fatalities

Antonio Bento (), Kenneth Gillingham () and Kevin Roth

No 23340, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: The firm response to regulation is seldom as controversial as in the context of fuel economy standards, a dominant policy to reduce emissions from vehicles worldwide. It has long been argued that such standards lead to vehicle weight changes that increase accident fatalities. Using unconditional quantile regression, we are the first to document the effect of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards on the vehicle weight distribution. We find that on net CAFE reduced fatalities, with lowered mean weight dominating increased dispersion. When monetized, this effect suggests positive net benefits from CAFE even with no undervaluation of fuel economy.

JEL-codes: H23 I18 Q48 Q58 R41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene, nep-hea, nep-reg and nep-tre
Note: EEE
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