In this paper we quantitatively synthesize empirical estimates of the income elasticity of gasoline demand reported in previous studies. The studies cover many countries and report a mean elasticity of 0.28 for the short run and 0.66 for the long run. We show, however, that these mean estimates are biased upwards because of publication bias - the tendency to suppress negative and insignificant estimates of the elasticity. Using mixed-effects multilevel meta-regression we filter out publication bias from the literature. Our results suggest that the income elasticity of gasoline demand is smaller than commonly thought: the corrected estimate is 0.1 for the short run and 0.46 for the long run.
gasoline income elasticity publication bias meta-analysis