MEASURING THE SOCIETAL IMPACTS OF AUTOMOBILE DOWNSIZING

This paper uses an innovative cost-benefit methodology to evaluate various strategies aimed at reducing automobile gasoline consumption. These strategies are the current corporate average fuel economy (cafe) regulations and various pricing instruments including gasoline taxes and mpg based vehicle taxes. It is concluded that the social costs of cafe are substantially higher (probably on the order of $20 billion per year) than the social costs of gasoline taxes in achieving comparable oil import reductions. That is, forcing consumers to buy undesirable cars is more onerous to them than simply raising fuel prices and allowing them to make their own adjustments. Also, it is questionable whether cafe has positive net social benefits even allowing liberal estimates of the social benefits of oil conservation. The methodological advance in this cost-benefit analysis is the use of a probability choice model of auto-purchase behavior to allow for both changes in the non-price attributes of consumer goods, and also the dispersion of preferences for these attributes among consumers. (TRRL)

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Research funded by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Pergamon Press, Incorporated

    Headington Hill Hall
    Oxford OX30BW,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Cardell, N S
    • DUNBAR, F C
  • Publication Date: 1980-10-12

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00330874
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-030 962
  • Files: HSL, ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 15 1983 12:00AM