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Economic incentives are in widespread use to stimulate the development of the electric vehicle industry. However, the distributional effects of such incentives have been subject to little empirical inquiry. This study examines how California’s electric vehicle rebate program impacts different income groups financially. Two effects are considered: the income distribution of rebate beneficiaries and the income distribution of the rebate payers. The results reveal that the overall net financial impacts of the electric vehicle rebate program are regressive: the benefit distribution is highly regressive while the cost distribution is slightly progressive. Recent efforts to improve the fairness of the rebate program do not alter our findings. Policy implications are discussed.
How do economists use graphs, and do they use them well? Using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, I provide evidence to these questions by exploring more than 2600 graphs published in the first issue of the American Economic Review from 1911 to 2017. I find that economists use a lot of line charts – more than 80% of the total sample are line charts. I also find that the share of graphs that use data (as opposed to diagrams) fell over the first half of the century and then increased from about the early 1980s to today, correlated with perceived graph quality.
Partial equilibrium models have been used extensively by policy makers to prospectively determine the consequences of government programs that affect consumer incomes or the prices consumers pay. However, these models have not previously been used to analyze government programs that inform consumers. In this paper, we develop a model that policy makers can use to quantitatively predict how consumers will respond to risk communications that contain new health information. The model combines Bayesian learning with the utility-maximization of consumer choice. We discuss how this model can be used to evaluate information policies; we then test the model by simulating the impacts of the North Dakota Folic Acid Educational Campaign as a validation exercise.
This article evaluates the long-term impacts of the Chicago Child-Parent Centers (CPC), a comprehensive early childhood program launched in the 1960s, on physical and mental health outcomes. This study follows a cohort of 1539 participants born in 1979–1980 and surveyed most recently at age 35–37 by employing a matched study design that included all 989 children who entered CPCs at ages 3 and 4 (1983-1985) and 550 comparison children of the same age from randomly selected schools participating in the usual district early childhood programs in kindergarten. Using propensity score weighting that addresses potential issues with differential attrition and non-random treatment assignment, results reveal that CPC preschool participation is associated with significantly lower rates of adverse health outcomes such as smoking and diabetes. Further, evaluating the economic impacts of the preschool component of the program, the study finds a benefit-cost ratio in the range of 1.35–3.66 (net benefit: $3896) indicating that the health benefits of the program by themselves offset the costs of the program even without considering additional benefits arising from increased educational attainment and reduced involvement in crime reported in earlier cost-benefit analyses. The findings are robust to corrections for multiple hypothesis testing, sensitivity analysis using a range of discount rates, and Monte Carlo analysis to account for uncertainty in outcomes.
Disruptions in routine immunization caused by COVID-19 put African countries with large vaccine-preventable disease burdens at high risk of outbreaks. Abbas et al. (2020) showed that mortality reduction from resuming immunization outweighs excess mortality from COVID-19 caused by exposure during immunization activities. We leverage these estimates to calculate benefit-cost ratios (BCRs) of disrupted immunization and apply cost of illness (COI) and value of statistical life-year (VSLY) approaches to estimate the cost of excess child deaths from eight vaccine-preventable diseases. BCRs were computed for each country, vaccine, and Expanded Program on Immunization visit. Secondary estimates that include the cost of providing immunization are presented in scenario analysis. Suspended immunization may cost $4949 million due to excess mortality using the COI approach, or $34,344 million using the VSLY approach. Likewise, excess COVID-19 deaths caused by exposure from immunization activities would cost $53 and $275 million using the COI and VSLY approaches, respectively. BCRs of continuing routine immunization are 94:1 using COI and 125:1 using VSLY, indicating that the economic costs of suspending immunization exceed that of COVID-19 deaths risked by routine immunization. When including the costs of providing routine immunization during the COVID-19 pandemic, the BCRs are 38:1 and 97:1 using the COI and VSLY approaches, respectively.
Due to COVID-19, many households faced hardships in the spring of 2020 – unemployment, an uncertain economic future, forced separation, and more. At the same time, the number of people who participated in outdoor recreation in many areas increased, as it was one of the few activities still permitted. How these experiences affect the public’s willingness to pay (WTP) for environmental public goods is unknown. During the early months of the pandemic, we conducted a stated preference survey to value statewide water quality improvements in Delaware. While a majority of participants report experiencing hardship of some sort (economic, emotional, etc.), mean household WTP declined by only 7 % by May 2020.
Under the current practice of benefit-cost analysis, the direct economic benefits produced by a newly built transit facility are assessed based on how it affects travel time and various costs that are associated with transport needs and travel behavior. However, the time-saving-based benefit calculation approach has been questioned and criticized. Given the strong correlation between accessibility and land value, we propose the access-based land value benefit assessment as an alternative, and apply this assessment method to analyzing the Second Avenue Subway project in Manhattan, New York. The primary principle of the access-based method is that the economic value of a transport project’s intangible gains is largely capitalized by nearby properties’ value appreciation, which is directly caused by improved transport accessibility. We find that: (i) the actual travel time saving is lower than originally forecast; (ii) a strong positive correlation between residential property value and job accessibility by transit is observed; (iii) the appreciation in sold property value and rented property value both far exceed total project cost; and (iv) such results support the decision to approve and construct the Second Avenue Subway.