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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Motor-Vehicle Infrastructure and Services Provided by the Public Sector: Report #7 in the series: The Annualized Social Cost of Motor-Vehicle Use in the United States, based on 1990-1991 Data


Every year, federal, state, and local governments in the U. S. spend tens of billions of dollars to build and maintain roads, enforce traffic laws, put out motor-vehicle fires, lock up motor-vehicle criminals, control motor-vehicle pollution, research new motor fuels and motor-vehicle technologies, and provide other services that support the use of motor vehicles. In this report, I estimate the cost of these goods and services provided by the public sector. I categorize and estimate these public-sector costs separately because governments, unlike private firms, do not charge efficient prices for their goods and services.

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