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Energy Efficiency Economics and Policy

Author

Listed:
  • Kenneth Gillingham
  • Richard G. Newell
  • Karen Palmer

    () (Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94309
    Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708
    Resources for the Future, Washington, D.C. 20036
    National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138)

Abstract

Energy efficiency and conservation are considered key means for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving other energy policy goals, but associated market behavior and policy responses have engendered debates in the economic literature. We review economic concepts underlying consumer decision making in energy efficiency and conservation and examine related empirical literature. In particular, we provide an economic perspective on the range of market barriers, market failures, and behavioral failures that have been cited in the energy efficiency context. We assess the extent to which these conditions provide a motivation for policy intervention in energy-using product markets, including an examination of the evidence on policy effectiveness and cost. Although theory and empirical evidence suggests there is potential for welfare-enhancing energy efficiency policies, many open questions remain, particularly relating to the extent of some key market and behavioral failures.

Suggested Citation

  • Kenneth Gillingham & Richard G. Newell & Karen Palmer, 2009. "Energy Efficiency Economics and Policy," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 597-620, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:anr:reseco:v:1:y:2009:p:597-620
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Metcalf, Gilbert E., 1994. "Economics and rational conservation policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(10), pages 819-825, October.
    2. Anderson, Soren T. & Newell, Richard G., 2004. "Information programs for technology adoption: the case of energy-efficiency audits," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 27-50, March.
    3. Stephen J. Decanio & William E. Watkins, 1998. "Investment In Energy Efficiency: Do The Characteristics Of Firms Matter?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 95-107, February.
    4. Sutherland, Ronald J, 1996. "The economics of energy conservation policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 361-370, April.
    5. Sue Wing, Ian, 2008. "Explaining the declining energy intensity of the U.S. economy," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 21-49, January.
    6. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    7. Fischer, Carolyn, 2005. "On the importance of the supply side in demand-side management," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 165-180, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    appliance standards; market failures; behavioral failures;

    JEL classification:

    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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