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Modeling International Trends in Energy Efficiency and Carbon Emissions

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  • Stern, David I.

Abstract

This study uses a stochastic production frontier to model energy efficiency trends, in 85 countries over a 37 year period. No structure is imposed on technological change over time, although differences in technology level across the countries are modelled as a stochastic function of explanatory variables. These variables are selected by a literature survey and a theoretical model of energy-efficient technology choice. An improvement in a country’s energy efficiency is measured as a reduction in energy intensity, while holding constant that economy’s mix of inputs and outputs. All other things remaining constant, the country using the least energy per unit output is on the global best-practice frontier. The model is used to derive decompositions of energy intensity and carbon emissions. It also examines whether there is a convergence across countries. The study shows that energy efficiency rises with increasing general total factor productivity. Energy efficiency is also higher in countries with undervalued currencies. Higher fossil fuel reserves are associated with lower energy efficiency. Energy efficiency converges over time across countries. Technological change was the most important factor counteracting the effect of economic growth in increasing global energy- use increase and carbon emissions.

Suggested Citation

  • Stern, David I., 2010. "Modeling International Trends in Energy Efficiency and Carbon Emissions," Research Reports 94950, Australian National University, Environmental Economics Research Hub.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eerhrr:94950
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/94950
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Popp, David & Newell, Richard G. & Jaffe, Adam B., 2010. "Energy, the Environment, and Technological Change," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    2. Lopez, Ramon & Mitra, Siddhartha, 2000. "Corruption, Pollution, and the Kuznets Environment Curve," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 137-150, September.
    3. van Zon, Adriaan & Yetkiner, I. Hakan, 2003. "An endogenous growth model with embodied energy-saving technical change," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 81-103, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Halkos, George & Paizanos, Epameinondas, 2015. "Environmental Macroeconomics: A critical literature review and future empirical research directions," MPRA Paper 67432, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Stern, David I. & Jotzo, Frank, 2010. "How ambitious are China and India's emissions intensity targets?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 6776-6783, November.
    3. Lin, Boqiang & Yang, Lisha, 2013. "The potential estimation and factor analysis of China′s energy conservation on thermal power industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 354-362.
    4. Stern, David I., 2010. "Between estimates of the emissions-income elasticity," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 2173-2182, September.
    5. Stern, David I., 2010. "The Role of Energy in Economic Growth," Working Papers 249380, Australian National University, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Energy; efficiency; carbon; emissions; technological change; between estimator; Environmental Economics and Policy; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy; O13; O33; O47; Q43; Q54; Q55; Q56;

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • 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
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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