Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Clean Air for Road Fatality Victims

Transport Minister Steve Joyce advises us, correctly, that the age of a vehicle and thus its safety characteristics has a lot to do with road fatalities. Newer cars, better technology, fewer deaths. Logical.

Then a few weeks ago he implements some legislation to “up” the standard of emissions from cars (by setting a standard not met by imports of a given age) in the plausibly useful interest of reducing air pollution. This however is not free. Fewer cars of a given price are imported.

Result. The price of cars goes up. Eventual effect – higher incentive to keep the existing, non complying dunga a few years longer. The NZ car yard (car stock in Aotearoa) gets that much older.

Thus we have more cars with a higher probability of contributing to fatalities…… and possibly some clean(er) air.

Resulting Public Choice equation (the bit of economics which analyses the economics of political behaviour)…

1. Number of Ministers voted out for failing to get road toll down = zip

2. Number of Ministers possibly gaining / retaining votes for being “green” = a positive number…. possibly quite a few.

Relationship to trade off between death and clean air – sweet bugger all.

No comments:

Post a Comment