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Coming Out Clean: Australian Carbon Pricing and Clean Technology Adoption


  • Bakhtiari, Sasan


Australia implemented a carbon pricing scheme from July 2012 to July 2014 to reduce emissions. Using data envelopment analysis, I investigate whether the uptake of clean technology accelerated during this period. I also explore a few other related strategies firms used to reduce emissions. I find that during the scheme firms accelerated the adoption of cleaner technology. Much of this acceleration came from firms lagging in technology catching up with the frontier. Reallocation of operation towards cleaner facilities and opting for more efficient scale sizes also helped the pace of emissions reduction. The pattern shows some variation from industry to industry. All these activities subside as soon as the carbon pricing is repealed.

Suggested Citation

  • Bakhtiari, Sasan, 2018. "Coming Out Clean: Australian Carbon Pricing and Clean Technology Adoption," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 238-246.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:154:y:2018:i:c:p:238-246
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2018.08.004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ray, Subhash C & Desli, Evangelia, 1997. "Productivity Growth, Technical Progress, and Efficiency Change in Industrialized Countries: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1033-1039, December.
    2. O'Gorman, Marianna & Jotzo, Frank, 2014. "Impact of the carbon price on Australia’s electricity demand, supply and emissions," Working Papers 249493, Australian National University, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy.
    3. Banker, Rajiv D., 1984. "Estimating most productive scale size using data envelopment analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 35-44, July.
    4. R. D. Banker & A. Charnes & W. W. Cooper, 1984. "Some Models for Estimating Technical and Scale Inefficiencies in Data Envelopment Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(9), pages 1078-1092, September.
    5. Fare, Rolf, et al, 1989. "Multilateral Productivity Comparisons When Some Outputs Are Undesirable: A Nonparametric Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 90-98, February.
    6. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
    7. Seiford, Lawrence M. & Zhu, Joe, 2002. "Modeling undesirable factors in efficiency evaluation," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 142(1), pages 16-20, October.
    8. Jotzo, Frank, 2012. "Australia’s carbon price," Working Papers 249401, Australian National University, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rezaei, Mostafa & Naghdi-Khozani, Nafiseh & Jafari, Niloofar, 2020. "Wind energy utilization for hydrogen production in an underdeveloped country: An economic investigation," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 147(P1), pages 1044-1057.
    2. Best, Rohan & Zhang, Qiu Yue, 2020. "What explains carbon-pricing variation between countries?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).

    More about this item


    Carbon tax; Energy; Clean technology; Malmquist index; Resource reallocation; Public policy;

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • 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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