Koichiro Ito

We study attribute-based regulations, under which regulatory compliance of a firm, product, or individual depends on a secondary attribute that is not the intended target of the regulation. We develop a theoretical model of the welfare consequences of attribute basing, including its distortionary costs and potential benefits. We then quantify these welfare consequences using quasi-experimental evidence from weight-based fuel economy regulations. We use bunching analysis to show that vehicle weight increased in response to regulation. We also leverage a policy change and develop a new method for analyzing double-notched policies to compare the costs and benefits of a specific attribute-based policy.

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Areas of Focus: Transportation
Definition
Transportation
Mobility is central to economic activity. Yet, a lack of fuel diversity and continued demand growth have made the transportation industry a major contributor to global pollution and carbon emissions....
Fuel Economy Standards
Definition
Fuel Economy Standards
Fuel economy standards are the United States’ cornerstone transportation policy aimed at reducing both oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. EPIC research is exploring whether these standards are structured optimally...
Four Proposals to Improve Fuel Economy Standards
Definition
Four Proposals to Improve Fuel Economy Standards
To make fuel economy standards more efficient and effective, policymakers could eliminate both size and type distinctions, establish a transparent trading market, and bring emissions testing under the direct supervision...