Keith Head, Thierry Mayer, 10 November 2015

There seems to be a general consensus that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is not a pure trade agreement. This column presents evidence suggesting that for at least one major sector – the auto industry – the agreement will make a huge difference, bringing considerable disruption to the industry but offering sizeable gains for car buyers.

Mark Hoekstra, Steve Puller, Jeremy West, 03 September 2014

‘Cash for Clunkers’ was billed as a stimulus programme that would boost sales to the ailing US auto industry in 2009. This column shows that the design of the programme actually caused it to reduce revenues to the industry it was designed to help. The authors estimate that the entire increase in sales during the programme would have happened anyway in the following eight months. Moreover, since more fuel-efficient cars tend to be less expensive, the fuel economy requirement of the programme incentivised households to buy cheaper cars.

Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 04 February 2009

This column proposes ending six policies that hamper the US automotive industry. It suggests replacing discretionary environmental policies with a CO2 tax, addressing legacy costs, ending the distinction between right-to-work and other states, levelling the investment subsidy playing field, resolving uncertainty surrounding the future powertrain, and allowing direct sales to the public.

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