Some inconvenient truths about climate change policy: The distributional impacts of transportation policies

Stephen P. Holland, Jonathan E. Hughes, Christopher R. Knittel, Nathan Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Climate policy has favored costly measures that implicitly or explicitly subsidize lowcarbon fuels.We simulate four transportation sector policies: cap and trade (CAT), ethanol subsidies, a renewable fuel standard (RFS), and a lowcarbon fuel standard. Our simulations confirm that alternatives to CAT are 2.5 to 4 times more costly but are amenable to adoption due to right-skewed distributions of gains. We analyze voting on the Waxman-Markey (WM) CAT bill. Conditional on a district's CAT gains, a district's RFS gains are negatively correlated with the likelihood of voting for WM. Our analysis supports campaign contributions as a partial mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1052-1069
Number of pages18
JournalReview of Economics and Statistics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics

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