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Asymmetric adaptations to energy price changes

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  • Kuper, Gerard H.
  • Soest, Daan P. van

    (Groningen University)

Abstract

The effectiveness of policies to reduce the use of energy depend on the elasticity of substitution between the various inputs and on the rate of technological progress. This paper presents a theoretical model emphasising energy investments\' characteristics of uncertainty and irreversibility that result in testable hypotheses concerning the relative values of substitution parameters and rates of technological change in periods of high and increasing energy prices and in periods of low prices. Estimation results for a panel of sectors of the Dutch economy show that the elasticity of substitution between energy and other inputs is low in periods of low energy prices, whereas it is significantly higher in the preceding period of high and increasing energy prices. Furthermore, energy-saving technological progress in periods of high and increasing energy prices is also significantly higher than if energy prices are low and falling. The regression results suggest that, due this asymmetric response of firms to changes in energy prices, taxing energy in the current period of low energy prices will not yield substantial reductions in energy use of Dutch industry.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research in its series CCSO Working Papers with number 199913.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:rugccs:199913

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References

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  1. Robert S. Pindyck, 1990. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Investment," NBER Working Papers 3307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bacon, Robert W., 1991. "Rockets and feathers: the asymmetric speed of adjustment of UK retail gasoline prices to cost changes," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 211-218, July.
  3. Chang, Kuo-Ping, 1994. "Capital-energy substitution and the multi-level CES production function," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 22-26, January.
  4. Bernanke, Ben S, 1983. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(1), pages 85-106, February.
  5. Borenstein, Severin & Cameron, A Colin & Gilbert, Richard, 1997. "Do Gasoline Prices Respond Asymmetrically to Crude Oil Price Changes?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 305-39, February.
  6. Smyth, David J., 1993. "Energy prices and the aggregate production function," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 105-110, April.
  7. David L. Ryan & Yu Wang & Andre Plourde, 1996. "Asymmetric Price Responses of Residential Energy Demand in Ontario," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(s1), pages 317-23, April.
  8. Ernst Berndt & Charles Kolstad & Jong-Kun Lee, 1993. "Measuring the Energy Efficiency and Productivity Impacts of Embodied Technical Change," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 33-56.
  9. Peter Ferderer, J., 1996. "Oil price volatility and the macroeconomy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-26.
  10. Hamilton, James D, 1988. "A Neoclassical Model of Unemployment and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 593-617, June.
  11. Javier F. Mory, 1993. "Oil Prices and Economic Activity: Is the Relationship Symmetric?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 151-162.
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Cited by:
  1. BOUCEKKINE, Raouf & POMMERET, Aude, . "Energy saving technical progress and optimal capital stock: the role of embodiment," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1703, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Mulder, Peter & de Groot, Henri L. F. & Hofkes, Marjan W., 2003. "Explaining slow diffusion of energy-saving technologies; a vintage model with returns to diversity and learning-by-using," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 105-126, February.
  3. Soest, Daan P. van & Kuper, Gerard H. & Jacobs, Jan, 2000. "Threshold effects of energy price changes," CCSO Working Papers 200007, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
  4. Carrillo-Hermosilla, Javier, 2006. "A policy approach to the environmental impacts of technological lock-in," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 717-742, July.

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