IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Substitution between energy and classical factor inputs in the Chinese steel sector

  • Smyth, Russell
  • Narayan, Paresh Kumar
  • Shi, Hongliang

China's steel sector is the largest in the world and has been a major driving force behind China's high rate of economic growth. This sector, however, is also a major consumer of energy and, in particular, coal. As a result, the iron and steel sector in China is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. In this article we examine the potential for inter-factor substitution between capital, energy and labor in the Chinese steel sector and find that capital and energy and energy and labor are substitutes. This result suggests that removal of price ceilings on energy would tend to reduce energy use and increase capital intensiveness. While the potential for substitution between energy and labor is less than that between energy and capital, the elasticity of substitution between energy and labor is high compared with previous findings for other countries. This fact suggests that there may be potential for substituting labor for energy, given China's abundance of labor.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Applied Energy.

Volume (Year): 88 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 361-367

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:88:y:2011:i:1:p:361-367
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Postal:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Auffhammer, Maximilian & Carson, Richard T., 2008. "Forecasting the path of China's CO2 emissions using province-level information," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 229-247, May.
  2. Wei, Yi-Ming & Liao, Hua & Fan, Ying, 2007. "An empirical analysis of energy efficiency in China's iron and steel sector," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 2262-2270.
  3. Hang, Leiming & Tu, Meizeng, 2007. "The impacts of energy prices on energy intensity: Evidence from China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 2978-2988, May.
  4. Berndt, Ernst R & Wood, David O, 1979. "Engineering and Econometric Interpretations of Energy-Capital Complementarity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 342-54, June.
  5. Giles, John & Park, Albert & Zhang, Juwei, 2005. "What is China's true unemployment rate?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 149-170.
  6. Cho, Won G. & Nam, Kiseok & Pagan, Jose A., 2004. "Economic growth and interfactor/interfuel substitution in Korea," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 31-50, January.
  7. Magnus, Jan R, 1979. "Substitution between Energy and Non-Energy Inputs in the Netherlands, 1950-1976," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(2), pages 465-84, June.
  8. Wang, Ke & Wang, Can & Lu, Xuedu & Chen, Jining, 2007. "Scenario analysis on CO2 emissions reduction potential in China's iron and steel industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 2320-2335, April.
  9. John Knight & Jinjun Xue, 2006. "How High is Urban Unemployment in China?," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(2), pages 91-107.
  10. Fan, Ying & Liao, Hua & Wei, Yi-Ming, 2007. "Can market oriented economic reforms contribute to energy efficiency improvement? Evidence from China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 2287-2295, April.
  11. Wu, Yanrui, 2000. "The Chinese steel industry: recent developments and prospects," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 171-178, September.
  12. Ma, Hengyun & Oxley, Les & Gibson, John, 2009. "Substitution possibilities and determinants of energy intensity for China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1793-1804, May.
  13. Christopoulos, Dimitris K. & Tsionas, Efthymios G., 2002. "Allocative inefficiency and the capital-energy controversy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 305-318, July.
  14. Liao, Hua & Fan, Ying & Wei, Yi-Ming, 2007. "What induced China's energy intensity to fluctuate: 1997-2006?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 4640-4649, September.
  15. Vega-Cervera, J.A. & Medina, J., 2000. "Energy as a productive input: The underlying technology for Portugal and Spain," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 757-775.
  16. Magnus, J.R., 1979. "Substitution between energy and non-energy inputs in the Netherlands, 1950-1976," Other publications TiSEM eef7f886-58db-4162-a57f-b, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  17. Griffin, James M & Gregory, Paul R, 1976. "An Intercountry Translog Model of Energy Substitution Responses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 845-57, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:88:y:2011:i:1:p:361-367. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.