IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Productivity Growth of Electricity Generators


  • Murtough, Greg
  • Appels, David
  • Matysek, Anna
  • Lovell, C.A. Knox


"Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Productivity Growth of Electricity Generators" by Greg Murtough, David Appels, Anna Matysek, and C. A. Knox Lovell, was released on 18 December 2001. This paper develops and applies a measure of productivity growth that can incorporate unpriced environmental impacts. The methodology builds on the established technique of data envelopment analysis and is applied to one of the more significant environmental issues facing Australia - greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation. The main finding of the paper is: productivity growth estimates for electricity generators can change significantly when allowance is made for greenhouse gas emissions. The paper develops an innovative statistical technique for incorporating environmental impacts in productivity estimates. It shows that accounting for greenhouse gas emissions reduces estimated productivity growth when emission intensity is rising and increases it when emission intensity is falling. In the late 1990s, changes in emission intensity (and hence the impact of emissions on estimated productivity growth) appear to have been largely driven by movements in thermal efficiency (electricity supplied per unit of fuel). The paper also found that there are regional differences in the cost (in terms of foregone output of electricity) of abating emissions. The views expressed in this paper are those of the staff involved and do not necessarily reflect those of the Productivity Commission.

Suggested Citation

  • Murtough, Greg & Appels, David & Matysek, Anna & Lovell, C.A. Knox, 2001. "Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Productivity Growth of Electricity Generators," Staff Research Papers 31917, Productivity Commission.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:prodsr:31917

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Reig-Martinez, Ernest & Picazo-Tadeo, Andres & Hernandez-Sancho, Francesc, 2001. "The calculation of shadow prices for industrial wastes using distance functions: An analysis for Spanish ceramic pavements firms," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 277-285, February.
    2. Gian Carlo Scarsi, 1999. "Local Electricity Distribution in Italy: Comparative Efficiency Analysis and Methodological Cross-Checking," Working Papers 1999.16, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    3. Yaisawarng, Suthathip & Klein, J Douglass, 1994. "The Effects of Sulfur Dioxide Controls on Productivity Change in the U.S. Electric Power Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(3), pages 447-460, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Vernon Topp & Tony Kulys, 2014. "On Productivity: The Influence of Natural Resource Inputs," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 27, pages 64-78, Fall.

    More about this item


    Environmental Economics and Policy;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:prodsr:31917. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.