Distributional Effects of Air Pollution from Electric Vehicle Adoption

40 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2016

See all articles by Stephen P. Holland

Stephen P. Holland

University of California, Berkeley - Energy Institute; University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro - Bryan School of Business & Economics

Erin T. Mansur

Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Nicholas Z. Muller

Carnegie Mellon University - David A. Tepper School of Business

Andrew Yates

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 2016

Abstract

We examine the distributional effects of changes in local air pollution from driving electric vehicles in the United States. We employ an econometric model to estimate power plant emissions and an integrated assessment model to value damages in air pollution from both electric and gasoline vehicles. Using the locations of currently registered electric vehicles, we find that people living in census block groups with median income greater than about $65,000 receive positive environmental benefits from these vehicles while those below this threshold receive negative environmental benefits. Asian and Hispanic residents receive positive environmental benefits, but White and Black residents receive negative environmental benefits. In multivariate analyses, environmental benefits are positively correlated with income and urban measures, conditional on racial composition. In addition, conditional on income and urbanization, separate regressions find environmental benefits to be positively related with Asian and Hispanic block-group population shares, negatively correlated with White share, and uncorrelated with Black share. Environmental benefits tend to be larger in states offering purchase subsidies. However, for these states, an increase in subsidy size is associated with a decrease in created environmental benefits.

Suggested Citation

Holland, Stephen P. and Mansur, Erin T. and Muller, Nicholas Z. and Yates, Andrew, Distributional Effects of Air Pollution from Electric Vehicle Adoption (November 2016). NBER Working Paper No. w22862. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2876407

Stephen P. Holland (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Energy Institute ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro - Bryan School of Business & Economics ( email )

401 Bryan Building
Greensboro, NC 27402-6179
United States

Erin T. Mansur

Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603 646 2398 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Nicholas Z. Muller

Carnegie Mellon University - David A. Tepper School of Business ( email )

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

Andrew Yates

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Economics ( email )

Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States

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