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Asymmetric effects of the business cycle on carbon dioxide emissions

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  • Sheldon, Tamara L.

Abstract

Long-term carbon dioxide emissions forecasts rely on the assumption that the economic growth rate is constant over long time horizons and exclude the business cycle, thereby ignoring a fundamental component of the macroeconomy. This paper considers how the business cycle affects emissions forecasts and shows the implicit assumption in current forecasts, that the elasticity of emissions is constant with respect to GDP, is wrong. In the United States, emissions fall more sharply when GDP declines than they rise when GDP increases. This is partly due to a decrease in industrial energy intensity as GDP declines. A simulation shows that accounting for the business cycle results in 5% lower cumulative emissions through 2050 relative to the baseline forecast.

Suggested Citation

  • Sheldon, Tamara L., 2017. "Asymmetric effects of the business cycle on carbon dioxide emissions," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 289-297.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:61:y:2017:i:c:p:289-297
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2016.11.025
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. V. Kerry Smith & Carlos Valcarcel Wolloh, 2012. "Has Surface Water Quality Improved Since the Clean Water Act?," NBER Working Papers 18192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Cohen, Gail & Jalles, Joao Tovar & Loungani, Prakash & Marto, Ricardo & Wang, Gewei, 2019. "Decoupling of emissions and GDP: Evidence from aggregate and provincial Chinese data," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 105-118.
    3. repec:eee:energy:v:168:y:2019:i:c:p:1081-1093 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Stern, David I., 2014. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve: A Primer," Working Papers 249424, Australian National University, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Energy; Business cycles; Climate change;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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