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Mode Choice, Energy, Emissions and the Rebound Effect in U.S. Freight Transportation

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Document pages: 46 pages

Abstract: We exploit newly available microdata on goods movement in the U.S. to model shippers freight mode choices. Because freight modes have vastly different fuel intensities, shippers choices have large implications for fuel consumption and emissions. We find higher fuel prices yield substantial shifts from less to more fuel-efficient modes, particularly rail. We extend our model to analyze recently enacted fuel economy standards. Fuel economy standards can increase emissions and fuel consumption by shifting shipments to less fuel-efficient modes. Our results suggest mode-shifting makes up a large share of the total rebound effect in heavy-duty vehicles.

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