NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Jeremy D. West

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

Working Papers and Chapters

May 2015Vehicle Miles (Not) Traveled: Why Fuel Economy Requirements Don't Increase Household Driving
with Mark Hoekstra, Jonathan Meer, Steven L. Puller: w21194
A major concern with addressing the negative externalities of gasoline consumption by regulating fuel economy, rather than increasing fuel taxes, is that households respond by driving more. This paper exploits a discrete threshold in the eligibility for Cash for Clunkers to show that fuel economy restrictions lead households to purchase vehicles that have lower cost-per-mile, but are also smaller and lower-performance. Whereas the former effect can increase driving, the latter effect can reduce it. Results indicate these households do not drive more, suggesting that behavioral responses do not necessarily undermine the effectiveness of fuel economy restrictions at reducing gasoline consumption.
July 2014Cash for Corollas: When Stimulus Reduces Spending
with Mark Hoekstra, Steven L. Puller: w20349
The 2009 Cash for Clunkers program aimed to stimulate consumer spending in the new automobile industry, which was experiencing disproportionate reductions in demand and employment during the Great Recession. Exploiting program eligibility criteria in a regression discontinuity design, we show nearly 60 percent of the subsidies went to households who would have purchased during the two-month program anyway; the rest accelerated sales by no more than eight months. Moreover, the program’s fuel efficiency restrictions shifted purchases toward vehicles that cost on average $5,000 less. On net, Cash for Clunkers significantly reduced total new vehicle spending over the ten month period.
August 2013Effects of the Minimum Wage on Employment Dynamics
with Jonathan Meer: w19262
The voluminous literature on minimum wages offers little consensus on the extent to which a wage floor impacts employment. We argue that the minimum wage will impact employment over time, through changes in growth rather than an immediate drop in relative employment levels. We conduct simulations showing that commonly-used specifications in this literature, especially those that include state-specific time trends, will not accurately capture these effects. Using three separate state panels of administrative employment data, we find that the minimum wage reduces job growth over a period of several years. These effects are most pronounced for younger workers and in industries with a higher proportion of low-wage workers.

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

 
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