The Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) or the “cash for clunkers” program, launched during the height of the recession with the intention of stimulating the economy, creating jobs, and reducing emissions, was actually far more expensive per job created than alternative fiscal stimulus programs, according to a new paper from the Brookings Institution. The researchers state that in the event of a future economic recession, they would not recommend repeating the CARS program. The paper examines various aspects of the program, from numbers of vehicles traded-in to impact on GDP, cost per job, environmental impacts, and the types of consumers who participated.

Improving the Nation’s Fiscal Future, Policy Research, Policy, Research, United States