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Directed Technological Change and Energy Efficiency Improvements

Author

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  • Witajewski-Baltvilks, Jan
  • Verdolini, Elena
  • Tavoni, Massimo

Abstract

This paper applies the Directed Technical Change (DTC) framework to study improvements in the efficiency of energy use. We present a theoretical model which (1) shows that the demand for energy is shifted down by innovations in energy intensive sectors and (2) highlights the drivers of innovative activity in these sectors. We then estimate the model through an empirical analysis of patent and energy data. Our contribution is fivefold. First, our model shows that under very general assumptions information about energy expenditures, knowledge spillovers and the parameters governing the R&D process are sufficient to predict the R&D effort in efficiency improving technologies. Second, we pin down the conditions for a log-linear relation between energy expenditure and the R&D effort. Third, the calibration of the model provides clear evidence that the value of the energy market as well as international and inter-temporal spillovers play a significant role in determining the level of innovative activity. Fourth, we show that innovative activity in energy intensive sectors shifts down the (Marshallian) demand for energy. Finally, we show that due to the streamlined modelling framework we adopt, the point estimates from our regression can potentially be used to calibrate any model of DTC in the context of energy consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Witajewski-Baltvilks, Jan & Verdolini, Elena & Tavoni, Massimo, 2015. "Directed Technological Change and Energy Efficiency Improvements," Climate Change and Sustainable Development 208910, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:feemcl:208910
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.208910
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/208910/files/NDL2015-078.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Colmenares, Gloria & Löschel, Andreas & Madlener, Reinhard, 2019. "The rebound effect and its representation in energy and climate models," CAWM Discussion Papers 106, University of Münster, Center of Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental Economics and Policy; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy

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