NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

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

Antonio Bento, Kenneth Gillingham, Kevin Roth

NBER Working Paper No. 23340
Issued in April 2017
NBER Program(s):Environment and Energy Economics

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.

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/w23340

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Pizer and Sexton w23318 Distributional Impacts of Energy Taxes
Allcott and Knittel w23076 Are Consumers Poorly Informed about Fuel Economy? Evidence from Two Experiments
Pless and van Benthem w23260 The Surprising Pass-Through of Solar Subsidies
Anderson and Auffhammer w17170 Pounds that Kill: The External Costs of Vehicle Weight
Archsmith, Gillingham, Knittel, and Rapson w23856 Attribute Substitution in Household Vehicle Portfolios
 
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