Vehicle Choices, Miles Driven, and Pollution Policies

Ye Feng, Don Fullerton, Li Gan

NBER Working Paper No. 11553
Issued in August 2005
NBER Program(s):Public Economics, Environment and Energy Economics

Mobile sources contribute large percentages of each pollutant, but technology is not yet available to measure and tax emissions from each vehicle. We build a behavioral model of household choices about vehicles and miles traveled. The ideal-but-unavailable emissions tax would encourage drivers to abate emissions through many behaviors, some of which involve market transactions that can be observed for feasible market incentives (such as a gas tax, subsidy to new cars, or tax by vehicle type). Our model can calculate behavioral effects of each such price and thus calculate car choices, miles, and emissions.

A nested logit structure is used to model discrete choices among different vehicle bundles. We also consider continuous choices of miles driven and the age of each vehicle. We propose a consistent estimation method for both discrete and continuous demands in one step, to capture the interactive effects of simultaneous decisions. Results are compared with those of the traditional sequential estimation procedure.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11553

Published: Ye Feng & Don Fullerton & Li Gan, 2013. "Vehicle choices, miles driven, and pollution policies," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 4-29, August. citation courtesy of

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