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Energy-Saving Technical Change

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  • John Hassler
  • Per Krusell
  • Conny Olovsson

Abstract

We estimate an aggregate production function with constant elasticity of substitution between energy and a capital/labor composite using U.S. data. The implied measure of energy-saving technical change appears to respond strongly to the oil-price shocks in the 1970s and has a negative medium-run correlation with capital/labor-saving technical change. Our findings are suggestive of a model of directed technical change, with low short-run substitutability between energy and capital/labor but significant substitutability over longer periods through technical change. We construct such a model, calibrate it based on the historical data, and use it to discuss possibilities for the future.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18456.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18456

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  1. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Barsky, Robert & Kilian, Lutz, 2004. "Oil and the Macroeconomy Since the 1970s," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 4496, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Lutz Kilian, 2008. "The Economic Effects of Energy Price Shocks," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 871-909, December.
  4. Philippe Aghion & Antoine Dechezleprêtre & David Hemous & Ralf Martin & John Van Reenen, 2012. "Carbon Taxes, Path Dependency and Directed Technical Change: Evidence from the Auto Industry," CEP Discussion Papers, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE dp1178, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. David Popp, 2002. "Induced Innovation and Energy Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 160-180, March.
  6. Griffin, James M & Gregory, Paul R, 1976. "An Intercountry Translog Model of Energy Substitution Responses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 845-57, December.
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