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Can a reduction in fuel use result from an endogenous technical progress in motor vehicles? A partial and general equilibrium analysis

Figus, Gioele and Swales, J. Kim and Turner, Karen (2017) Can a reduction in fuel use result from an endogenous technical progress in motor vehicles? A partial and general equilibrium analysis. In: 23rd Annual Conference of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE), 2017-06-28 - 2017-07-01, Megaron Athens International Conference Centre.

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Abstract

In this paper we employ a partial equilibrium approach to model private transport consumption as a household self-produced commodity formed by vehicle and fuel use. We show that under certain conditions vehicle-augmenting technical improvements can reduce fuel use. We then extend the analysis through Computable General Equilibrium simulations for the UK in order to investigate the wider implications of vehicle-augmenting efficiency improvements when prices and nominal income are endogenous. With a conventional macroeconomic approach, improvements in the efficiency of household consumption simply change the composition of household demand. However, when we adjust the consumer price index for changes in the price of private transport service (not observable via a market price), as advocated in Gordon (2016) there is an additional supply-side stimulus to competitiveness.