NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Arthur van Benthem

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Working Papers

May 2013Vehicle Scrappage and Gasoline Policy
with Mark R. Jacobsen: w19055
We estimate the sensitivity of scrap decisions to changes in used car values – the "scrap elasticity" – and show how it influences used car fleets under policies aimed at reducing gasoline use. Large scrap elasticities will tend to produce emissions leakage under efficiency standards as the longevity of used vehicles is increased, a process known as the Gruenspecht effect. To explore the magnitude of this leakage we assemble a novel dataset of U.S. used vehicle registrations and prices, which we relate through time via differential effects in gasoline cost: A gasoline price increase or decrease of $1 alters the number of fuel-efficient vs. fuel-inefficient vehicles scrapped by 18%. These relationships allow us to provide what we believe are the first estimates of the scrap elasticity it...
September 2009Unintended Consequences from Nested State & Federal Regulations: The Case of the Pavley Greenhouse-Gas-per-Mile Limits
with Lawrence H. Goulder, Mark R. Jacobsen: w15337
Fourteen U.S. states recently pledged to adopt limits on greenhouse gases (GHGs) per mile of light-duty automobiles. Previous analyses predicted this action would significantly reduce emissions from new cars in these states, but ignored possible offsetting emissions increases from policy-induced adjustments in new car markets in other (non-adopting) states and in the used car market. Such offsets (or “leakage”) reflect the fact that the state-level effort interacts with the national corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard: the state-level initiative effectively loosens the national standard and gives automakers scope to profitably increase sales of high-emissions automobiles in non-adopting states. In addition, although the state-level effort may well spur the invention of fue...

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