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Electricity Unit Value Prices and Purchase Quantities: U.S. Manufacturing Plants, 1963–2000


  • Steven J. Davis

    (University of Chicago, NBER, and American Enterprise Institute)

  • Cheryl Grim

    (Bureau of the Census)

  • John Haltiwanger

    (University of Maryland, Bureau of the Census, and NBER)

  • Mary Streitwieser

    (Bureau of Economic Analysis)


We measure unit value electricity prices using 2 million annual observations on U.S. manufacturing plants from 1963 to 2000. These prices display tremendous cross-sectional dispersion, 85–95% of which reflects differences by plant location and purchase quantity. Spatial differentials decline markedly until the late 1980s for large purchasers but rise over time for small purchasers. Unit value price gaps between larger and smaller purchasers are enormous, diminish through the late 1970s, and then stabilize at still-high levels. There are major differences across states in cost and regulatory factors that we relate to the changing structure of unit value prices. No rights reserved. This work was authored as part of the Contributor's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. law

Suggested Citation

  • Steven J. Davis & Cheryl Grim & John Haltiwanger & Mary Streitwieser, 2013. "Electricity Unit Value Prices and Purchase Quantities: U.S. Manufacturing Plants, 1963–2000," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1150-1165, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:95:y:2013:i:4:p:1150-1165

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    Cited by:

    1. Nemet, Gregory F. & O’Shaughnessy, Eric & Wiser, Ryan & Darghouth, Naïm & Barbose, Galen & Gillingham, Ken & Rai, Varun, 2017. "Characteristics of low-priced solar PV systems in the U.S," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 187(C), pages 501-513.
    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. Ghani, Ejaz & Goswami, Arti Grover & Kerr, William R., 2014. "Spatial dynamics of electricity usage in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7055, The World Bank.
    4. Severnini, Edson R., 2014. "The Power of Hydroelectric Dams: Agglomeration Spillovers," IZA Discussion Papers 8082, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    electricity; manufacturing;

    JEL classification:

    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General


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