ARB Research Seminar

This page updated June 19, 2013

The Economics of Automobile Fuel Economy Standards

Soren Anderson, Ph.D., Energy Institute at Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

April 20, 2011
Cal EPA Headquarters, 1001 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA



This presentation will discuss the economics of automobile fuel economy standards (or per-mile carbon emissions standards) and other policies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. The presentation will describe how fuel economy standards affect the automobile market, including impacts on automobile prices, fuel consumption, and other dimensions of the vehicle fleet, along with recent economic research that attempts to quantity the impacts of these changes on consumers, automakers, and the environment. The presentation will review recent economic evidence on how consumers respond to automobile efficiency-including the role of consumer expectations about future gasoline prices in driving consumer choices-and discuss what this evidence implies for policy. Finally, the presentation will compare fuel economy standards with alternative policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including traditional fuel taxes and a "feebate" system of fees on inefficient vehicles offset by rebates for efficient vehicles.

Speaker Biography

Soren Anderson, Ph.D., is currently a Visiting Researcher at the University of California Energy Institute at Haas School of Business, Berkeley. Dr. Anderson's research spans a broad range of topics in energy and environmental economics with a current focus on energy production and consumption in the personal transportation sector. Dr. Anderson is an Assistant Professor of Economics and Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics at Michigan State University and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Dr. Anderson received his doctorate in economics from the University of Michigan and a B.A. in economics from Macalester College. Dr. Anderson was previously a research assistant at Resources for the Future and served on the staff of the President's Council of Economic Advisers while earning his doctorate.

For a complete listing of the ARB Research Seminars and the related documentation
for the seminars please view the Main Seminars web page