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Energy quality

  • Stern, David I.

This paper develops economic definitions of energy quality for individual fuels and energy aggregates. There are use- and exchange-value concepts, as well as marginal and total measures, of energy quality. A factor augmentation or quality coefficients approach corresponds to the use-value definition while indicators based on distance functions and relative prices are exchange-value based definitions. These indicators are identical when the elasticity of substitution between fuels is infinity but diverge or cannot be computed for other interfuel elasticities of substitution. When the elasticity of substitution is zero only the quality coefficients approach is defined. I also show that 1) the ratio of an energy volume index to aggregate joules cannot be considered a complete indicator of aggregate energy quality as it does not account for quality changes in the component fuels 2) demand curve integrals do not provide information on relative use-values or fuel qualities when the elasticity of substitution is unity or less.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 69 (2010)
Issue (Month): 7 (May)
Pages: 1471-1478

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:7:p:1471-1478
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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  1. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "Labor- And Capital-Augmenting Technical Change," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 1-37, 03.
  2. Cleveland, Cutler J. & Kaufmann, Robert K. & Stern, David I., 2000. "Aggregation and the role of energy in the economy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 301-317, February.
  3. Tallman, Ellis W. & Wang, Ping, 1994. "Human capital and endogenous growth evidence from Taiwan," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 101-124, August.
  4. Kerstin, Enflo & Kander, Astrid & Schön, Lennart, 2008. "Electrification and energy productivity," Papers in Innovation Studies 2008/16, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  5. Dale W. Jorgenson & Mun S. Ho & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2003. "Lessons for Canada from the U.S. Growth Resurgence," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 6, pages 3-18, Spring.
  6. Jorgenson, Dale W. & Ho, Mun S. & Stiroh, Kevin J., 2003. "Lessons from the US growth resurgence," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 453-470, July.
  7. David I.Stern, 2009. "Interfuel Substitution: A Meta Analysis," Environmental Economics Research Hub Research Reports 0933, Environmental Economics Research Hub, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  8. Dennis D. Kimko & Eric A. Hanushek, 2000. "Schooling, Labor-Force Quality, and the Growth of Nations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1184-1208, December.
  9. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  10. Stern, David I., 1999. "Use value, exchange value, and resource scarcity," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 469-476, August.
  11. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & Antoine Moreau, 1995. "Product Quality and Worker Quality," NBER Working Papers 5077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Giannias, Dimitrios A, 1998. "Labour Quality and Wage Differentials," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 45(2), pages 188-97, May.
  13. Stern, David I., 1993. "Energy and economic growth in the USA : A multivariate approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 137-150, April.
  14. Ayres, Robert U. & Warr, Benjamin, 2005. "Accounting for growth: the role of physical work," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-209, June.
  15. Eugenia Kazamaki Ottersten & Thomas Lindh Mellander, 1999. "Evaluating firm training, effects on performance and labour demand," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(7), pages 431-437.
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