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Identifying the Rebound: Evidence from a German Household Panel

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  • Manuel Frondel
  • Jorg Peters
  • Colin Vance

Abstract

Using a panel of household travel diary data collected in Germany between 1997 and 2005, this study assesses the effectiveness of fuel efficiency improvements by estimating the rebound effect, which measures the extent to which higher efficiency causes additional travel. Following a theoretical discussion outlining three alternative definitions of the rebound effect, the econometric analysis generates corresponding estimates using panel methods to control for the effects of unobservables that could otherwise produce spurious results. Our results, which range between 57% and 67%, indicate a rebound that is substantially larger than obtained in other studies, calling into question the efficacy of policies targeted at reducing energy consumption via technological efficiency.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by International Association for Energy Economics in its journal The Energy Journal.

Volume (Year): Volume 29 (2008)
Issue (Month): Number 4 ()
Pages: 145-164

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Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:2008v29-04-a07

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  1. Berkhout, Peter H. G. & Muskens, Jos C. & W. Velthuijsen, Jan, 2000. "Defining the rebound effect," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 425-432, June.
  2. Binswanger, Mathias, 2001. "Technological progress and sustainable development: what about the rebound effect?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 119-132, January.
  3. A. Greening, Lorna & Greene, David L. & Difiglio, Carmen, 2000. "Energy efficiency and consumption -- the rebound effect -- a survey," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 389-401, June.
  4. Schipper, Lee & Grubb, Michael, 2000. "On the rebound? Feedback between energy intensities and energy uses in IEA countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 367-388, June.
  5. Brännlund, Runar & Ghalwash, Tarek & Nordström, Jonas, 2004. "Increased Energy Efficiency and the Rebound Effect: Effects on consumption and emissions," UmeÃ¥ Economic Studies 642, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  6. West, Sarah E., 2004. "Distributional effects of alternative vehicle pollution control policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 735-757, March.
  7. J. Daniel Khazzoom, 1980. "Economic Implications of Mandated Efficiency in Standards for Household Appliances," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 21-40.
  8. Kenneth A. Small & Kurt Van Dender, 2007. "Fuel Efficiency and Motor Vehicle Travel: The Declining Rebound Effect," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 25-52.
  9. Brookes, Leonard, 2000. "Energy efficiency fallacies revisited," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 355-366, June.
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