Elasticity of Vehicle Miles of Travel to Changes in the Price of Gasoline and the Cost of Driving in Texas

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This report examines the sensitivity of annual vehicle miles of travel (VMT) of light-duty vehicles to the price of gasoline, commonly referred to as the elasticity of demand for VMT to the price of gasoline; the fuel-economy-related rebound effect is generally assumed to be of the same magnitude as the VMT elasticity of gas price or driving cost. We use detailed odometer readings from over 30 million vehicles in four urban areas of Texas, over a six-year period. We account for economic conditions over this period, as well as vehicle age. Following the literature we include fixed effects by vehicle make and individual vehicle, as well as the effect of adding an instrument to predict monthly gasoline price independent of any influences of demand for gasoline on its price.

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