NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Are Consumers Poorly Informed about Fuel Economy? Evidence from Two Experiments

Hunt Allcott, Christopher Knittel

NBER Working Paper No. 23076
Issued in January 2017, Revised in February 2018
NBER Program(s):Public Economics, Environment and Energy Economics

It is often asserted that consumers are poorly informed about and inattentive to fuel economy, causing them to buy low-fuel economy vehicles despite their own best interest. This paper presents evidence on this assertion through two experiments providing fuel economy information to new vehicle shoppers. Results show zero statistical or economic effect on average fuel economy of vehicles purchased. In the context of a simple optimal policy model, the estimates suggest that current and proposed U.S. fuel economy standards are significantly more stringent than needed to address the classes of imperfect information and inattention addressed by our interventions.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Access to NBER Papers

You are eligible for a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23076

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Boustan, Kahn, Rhode, and Yanguas w23410 The Effect of Natural Disasters on Economic Activity in US Counties: A Century of Data
Redding and Rossi-Hansberg w22655 Quantitative Spatial Economics
Davis and Metcalf w20720 Does Better Information Lead to Better Choices? Evidence from Energy-Efficiency Labels
Allcott and Kessler w21671 The Welfare Effects of Nudges: A Case Study of Energy Use Social Comparisons
Boomhower and Davis w23097 Do Energy Efficiency Investments Deliver at the Right Time?
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us