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Taxing Automobile Emissions for Pollution Control

Maureen Sevigny, Assistant Professor of Management, Oregon Institute of Technology, US
This innovative book examines the role an automobile emissions tax could play in reducing emissions in the United States. The author concludes that an emissions tax has the potential to reduce emissions from households vehicles significantly, even when travel demand is relatively price inelastic. Beginning with a theoretical discussion of a first-best tax, a second-best tax on passenger vehicles is developed.
Extent: 136 pp
Hardback Price: $127.00 Web: $114.30
Publication Date: 1998
ISBN: 978 1 85898 767 5
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Environmental Economics
  • Transport
  • Environment
  • Environmental Economics
  • Transport
  • Urban and Regional Studies
  • Transport
This innovative book examines the role an automobile emissions tax could play in reducing emissions in the United States. The author concludes that an emissions tax has the potential to reduce emissions from households vehicles significantly, even when travel demand is relatively price inelastic. Beginning with a theoretical discussion of a first-best tax, a second-best tax on passenger vehicles is developed. This study contains detailed analyses of:

• the design of the tax
• behavioural responses that lead to emissions reductions, including reductions in the household’s vehicle miles of travel and the scrapping of low-value, high emitting vehicles
• the effect of the tax on the reduction of emissions
• the effect of the tax on households in different income quintiles
• the emissions reducing potential of a gasoline tax compared to an emissions tax

This study uses a simulation model to analyse the sensitivity of travel demand and the resulting emissions, to different tax rates and demand elasticities. The author concludes that an emissions tax has the potential to reduce emissions from household vehicles significantly, even when travel demand is relatively price inelastic.

Taxing Automobile Emissions for Pollution Control will prove invaluable to policymakers and academics in the field of environmental management and environmental economics and policy.
‘This important and seminal book examines a proposed system of emissions taxes based on vehicle discharges, as an alternative to our present cumbersome, costly, and not highly successful system relying on direct controls. . . . this book is the first rigorous and thorough examination of such an emissions charge system. . . . Maureen Sevigny has professionally and carefully, as a scientifically cautious scholar, made an analysis of a specific air quality plan. Everyone concerned with bad air from motor vehicle emissions should note this study. . . . This work should not be ignored. It is a nice piece of analysis.’
– Stanley G. Long, Transportation Journal
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Designing a Tax on Mobile Source Emissions 3. Effects on Travel Demand and Maintenance 4. The TIERS Model 5. Modelling the Scrappage Effect of the Tax 6. Summary and Conclusions Index