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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Review of Some of the Literature on the Social Cost of Motor-Vehicle Use


Over the past five years, analysts and policy makers have become increasingly interested in the full social cost of motor-vehicle use. Researchers have performed social-cost analyses for a variety reasons, and have used them in a variety of ways, to support a wide range of policy positions. Some researchers have used social-cost analyses to argue that motor vehicles and gasoline are terrifically underpriced, while others have used them to downplay the need for drastic policy intervention in the transportation sector. In any case, social-cost analyses excite considerable interest, if only because nearly all of us use motor vehicles.

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