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Labor demand effects of rising electricity prices: Evidence for Germany

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  • Cox, Michael
  • Peichl, Andreas
  • Pestel, Nico
  • Siegloch, Sebastian

Abstract

Germany continues to play a pioneering role in replacing conventional power plants with renewable energy sources. While this might be beneficial with respect to environmental quality, it also implies increasing electricity prices. The extent to which this is associated with negative impacts on employment depends on the interrelationship between labor and electricity as input factors in the production process. In this paper, we estimate cross-price elasticities between electricity and heterogeneous labor for the German manufacturing sector. We use administrative linked employer–employee micro-data combined with information on sector-level electricity prices and usage over the period 2003–2007. We find positive, but small conditional cross-price elasticities of labor demand with respect to electricity prices, which means that electricity as an input factor can be replaced by labor to a limited extent when the production level is held constant. In the case of adjustable output, we find negative unconditional cross-price elasticities, implying that higher electricity prices lead to output reductions and to lower labor demand, with low- and high-skilled workers being affected more than medium-skilled. Resulting adverse distributional effects and potential overall job losses may pose challenges for policy-makers in securing public support for the German energy turnaround.

Suggested Citation

  • Cox, Michael & Peichl, Andreas & Pestel, Nico & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2014. "Labor demand effects of rising electricity prices: Evidence for Germany," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 266-277.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:75:y:2014:i:c:p:266-277
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2014.10.021
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    Cited by:

    1. Heindl Peter & Aigeltinger Gerd & Liessem Verena & Römer Daniel & Schwengers Clarita & Vogt Claire, 2017. "Zum Stromkonsum von Haushalten in Grundsicherung: Eine empirische Analyse für Deutschland," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 18(4), pages 348-367, November.
    2. Giovanni Marin & Francesco Vona, 2017. "The Impact of Energy Prices on Employment and Environmental Performance: Evidence from French Manufacturing Establishments," Working Papers 2017.53, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    3. Michele Raitano & Eleonora Romano & Pietro Zoppoli, 2016. "The sectorial intensity of production of renewable energy sources in Italy:measurement and effects on earnings," Working Papers 1, Department of the Treasury, Ministry of the Economy and of Finance.
    4. Joltreau, Eugénie & Sommerfeld, Katrin, 2016. "Why does emissions trading under the EU ETS not affect firms' competitiveness? Empirical findings from the literature," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-062, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    5. Raitano, Michele & Romano, Eleonora & Zoppoli, Pietro, 2017. "Renewable energy sources in Italy: Sectorial intensity and effects on earnings," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 117-127.
    6. repec:kap:regeco:v:53:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11149-018-9353-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Derya Eryilmaz, Timothy M. Smith, and Frances R. Homans, 2017. "Price Responsiveness in Electricity Markets: Implications for Demand Response in the Midwest," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    8. Nico Pestel, 2014. "Employment effects of green energy policies," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 1-76, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Electricity prices; Labor demand; Employment; Energy; Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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