Evaluating Fuel Economy Taxes

An Exploratory Cost-Benefit Analysis

by James P. Stucker


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Uses methodology documented in N-1005 to analyze welfare costs of federal tax/subsidy programs for promoting new car fuel economy. Also describes sensitivity analyses applicable to both mandates and tax/subsidy programs, and an investigation of models for competitive as well as the joint-profit-maximizing domestic auto industry. Tax/subsidy programs could induce the same effects, at similar costs, as the currently legislated mandate program. Each program is tricky; there would be no additional benefits, and costs would increase, perhaps substantially, if taxes and subsidies were implemented in addition to the current mandate program.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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