Can taxes on cars and on gasoline mimic an unavailable tax on emissions?

Don Fullerton, Sarah E. West

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


An emissions tax is efficient, but measurement of every car’s emissions would be inaccurate and expensive. With identical consumers, we demonstrate the same efficiency for: an emissions tax; a gas tax that depends on fuel type, engine size, and pollution control equipment (PCE); a vehicle tax that depends on mileage; or a combination of uniform tax rates on gasoline and engine size with a subsidy to PCE. With heterogeneous consumers, efficiency can be obtained by a vehicle-specific gas tax or mileage-specific vehicle tax, but not by flat rates. We characterize second-best uniform tax rates on gasoline and on car characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationControlling Automobile Air Pollution
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781351161077
ISBN (Print)9780815388227
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


Dive into the research topics of 'Can taxes on cars and on gasoline mimic an unavailable tax on emissions?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this