Cash for Clunkers Program A Dud, Say Economists

A new study says that the bump in sales brought on by the Cash for Clunkers program was immediately followed by an equal plunge in sales, effectively wiping out the economic benefit.

Atif R. Mian of UC Berkeley and Amir Sufi of the University of Chicago have released a new study showing that although the Cash for Clunkers program caused a bump in sales, as soon as the offer was no longer available, car sales took a steep plunge of equal size. Mian and Sufi conclude that the only way this can be looked at as a success is if it was of benefit to the country to "steal" sales from future months.

Another economist argues in this NPR story that his research shows that many people were persuaded to buy significantly earlier than they intended otherwise, making the program a success.

Full Story: Study: Cash For Clunkers Was A Wash


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