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Identifying Free-riding in Home Renovation Programs Using Revealed Preference Data

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  • Peter Grösche

    ()
    (Hochschule Anhalt)

  • Christop M. Schmidt

    ()
    (RWI)

  • Colin Vance

    ()
    (RWI)

Abstract

Identifying free-ridership is significant to several issues relevant to program evaluation, including the calculation of net program benefits and assessments of political acceptability. Despite the potential of free-ridership to seriously undermine the economic efficiency of a program intervention, for instance to foster energy efficiency, the issue remains largely absent from contemporary environmental and energy policy discussions in Europe. One reason for this neglect is the inherent difficulty of assessing which households would have undertaken the energyconservation activity even without the program. This paper proposes a procedure to calculate the free-rider share using revealed preference data on home renovations from Germany’s residential sector.We employ a discrete-choice model to analyze the effect of grants on renovation choices, the output fromwhich is used to assess the extent of free-ridership under a subsidy program very akin to an implemented grants program in Germany. Our empirical results suggest only very moderate energy savings induced by the program, making free-riding a problem of outstanding importance.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics in its journal Journal of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 233 (2013)
Issue (Month): 5-6 (October)
Pages: 600-618

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Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:233:y:2013:i:5-6:p:600-618

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Keywords: Energy efficiency; residential sector; random utility model; discrete choice simulation;

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References

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  1. Eric Malm, 1996. "An Actions-Based Estimate of the Free Rider Fraction in Electric Utility DSM Programs," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 41-48.
  2. Brownstone, David & Train, Kenneth, 1999. "Forecasting new product penetration with flexible substitution patterns," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt1j6814b3, University of California Transportation Center.
  3. Franz Wirl, 2000. "Lessons from Utility Conservation Programs," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 87-108.
  4. Peter Grösche & Colin Vance, 2008. "Willingness-to-Pay for Energy Conservation and Free-Ridership on Subsidization – Evidence from Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 0058, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  5. Mehdi Farsi, 2008. "Risk-Aversion and Willingness to Pay for Energy Efficient Systems in Rental Apartments," CEPE Working paper series 08-55, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
  6. David S. Loughran and Jonathan Kulick, 2004. "Demand-Side Management and Energy Efficiency in the United States," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 19-44.
  7. Jakob, Martin, 2006. "Marginal costs and co-benefits of energy efficiency investments: The case of the Swiss residential sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 172-187, January.
  8. Paul L. Joskow & Donald B. Marron, 1992. "What Does a Negawatt Really Cost? Evidence from Utility Conservation Programs," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 41-74.
  9. Silvia Banfi & Mehdi Farsi & Massimo Filippini & Martin Jakob, 2005. "Willingness to Pay for Energy-Saving Measures in Residential Buildings," CEPE Working paper series 05-41, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
  10. Cameron, Trudy Ann, 1985. "A Nested Logit Model of Energy Conservation Activity by Owners of Existing Single Family Dwellings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(2), pages 205-11, May.
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