Fuel Economy, Car Class Mix, and Safety
AbstractFuel economy standards change the composition of the vehicle fleet, potentially influencing accident fatality risks. I estimate the direction and magnitude of this impact, introducing a correction for selection on driver behavior. A policy application using my new estimates shows that the present distinction between light trucks and cars in fuel economy rules has very negative consequences for overall safety: Each MPG increment to the standard results in an additional 150 fatalities per year in expectation. My correction for selection is pivotal in this finding. I then demonstrate a simple alternative regulation that can produce near-zero changes in accident fatalities.
CitationJacobsen, Mark R. 2011. "Fuel Economy, Car Class Mix, and Safety." American Economic Review, 101 (3): 105-09. DOI: 10.1257/aer.101.3.105
- L62 Automobiles; Other Transportation Equipment
- R41 Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise