The Department of Economics Applied Microeconomics Seminars Series presents
"Cars That Kill? The Effect of Fuel Economy Standards on Vehicle Weight Dispersion"
with Kevin Roth, Assistant Professor of Economics, UC Irvine
April 15, 2014
Social Science Plaza A, Room 3132
The firm response to regulation is seldom as controversial as in the context of fuel economy standards, the dominant policy to reduce emissions from vehicles in the United States. It has long been argued that such standards have led to a down-weighting of vehicles, increasing accident fatalities. This talk uses three measures of the stringency of historical fuel economy standards to demonstrate that down-weighting was not uniform across the fleet. Domestic automakers down-weighted primarily in the lower half of the distribution of weight, while Asian manufacturers appear to up-weight in the same region, indicative of competitive effects. Preliminary counter factual simulations indicate that CAFE standards led to very few additional traffic fatalities.
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