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The Asymmetric Effects of Changes in Price and Income on Energy and Oil Demand

  • Dermot Gately
  • Hiliard G. Huntington

This paper estimates the effects on energy and oil demand of changes in income and oil prices, for 96 of the world's largest countries, in per-capita terms. We examine three important issues: the asymmetric effects on demand of increases and decreases in oil prices; the asymmetric effects on demand of increases and decreases in income; and the different speeds of demand adjustment to changes in price and in income. Our main conclusions are the following: (1) OECD demand responds much more to increases in oil prices than to decreases; ignoring this asymmetric price response will bias downward the estimated response to income changes; (2) demand's response to income decreases in many Non-OECD countries is not necessarily symmetric to its response to income increases; ignoring this asymmetric income response will bias the estimated response to income changes; (3) the speed of demand adjustment is faster to changes in income than to changes in price; ignoring this difference will bias upward the estimated response to income changes. Using correctly specified equations for energy and oil demand, the longrun response in demand for income growth is about 1.0 for Non-OECD Oil Exporters, Income Growers and perhaps all Non-OECD countries, and about 0.55 For OECD countries. These estimates for developing countries are significantly higher than current estimates used by the US Department of Energy. Our estimates for the OECD countries are also higher than those estimated recently by Schmalensee-Stoker-Judson (1998) and Holtz-Eakin and Selden (1995), who ignore the (asymmetric) effects of prices on demand. Higher responses to income changes, of course, will increase projections of energy and oil demand, and of carbon dioxide emissions.

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

Volume (Year): Volume23 (2002)
Issue (Month): Number 1 ()
Pages: 19-55

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Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:2002v23-01-a02
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  1. Haas, Reinhard & Schipper, Lee, 1998. "Residential energy demand in OECD-countries and the role of irreversible efficiency improvements," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 421-442, September.
  2. Rossana Galli, 1998. "The Relationship Between Energy Intensity and Income Levels: Forecasting Long Term Energy Demand in Asian Emerging Countries," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 85-105.
  3. Dermot Gately, 1992. "Imperfect Price-Reversibility of U.S. Gasoline Demand: Asymmetric Responses to Price Increases and Declines," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 179-208.
  4. Richard Schmalensee & Thomas M. Stoker & Ruth A. Judson, 1998. "World Carbon Dioxide Emissions: 1950-2050," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 15-27, February.
  5. Joyce Dargay & Dermot Gately, 1994. "Oil Demand in the Industrialized Countries," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I), pages 39-67.
  6. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Selden, Thomas M., 1995. "Stoking the fires? CO2 emissions and economic growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 85-101, May.
  7. Ruth A. Judson & Richard Schmalensee & Thomas M. Stoker, 1999. "Economic Development and the Structure of the Demand for Commercial Energy," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 29-57.
  8. I.O. Walker & Franz Wirl, 1993. "Irreversible Price-Induced Efficiency Improvements: Theory and Empirical Application to Road Transportation," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 183-205.
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