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The effect of climate policy on productivity and cost pass-through in the German manufacturing sector

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  • Hintermann, Beat

    (University of Basel)

  • Zarkovic, Maja

    (University of Basel)

  • Di Maria, Corrado
  • Wagner, Ulrich J.

Abstract

We investigate productivity and cost pass-through of German manufacturing firms using administrative data from 2001 to 2014. Our framework allows for the estimation of quantity-based production functions for multi-product firms while controlling for unobserved productivity shocks and unobserved input quality. Using our parameter estimates, we can compute total factor productivity, markups and marginal costs. We find no effect of the EU ETS on firm productivity or profits for the whole sector, and a positive effect for some industries. Firms pass on shocks to materials costs completely, or even more than completely, whereas pass-through of energy costs is around 35-60%. Although pass-through of energy costs is incomplete, it nevertheless allowed firms to recover more than their total carbon costs due to generous free allocation of allowances. Our results add to the recent literature concerning the causal effects of climate policy on firms and are relevant for policy makers when defining the level of free allowance allocation to industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Hintermann, Beat & Zarkovic, Maja & Di Maria, Corrado & Wagner, Ulrich J., 2020. "The effect of climate policy on productivity and cost pass-through in the German manufacturing sector," Working papers 2020/11, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  • Handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2020/11
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    2. von Graevenitz, Kathrine & Rottner, Elisa & Richter, Philipp M., 2023. "Is Germany becoming the European pollution haven?," ZEW Discussion Papers 23-069, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    3. Sato, Misato & Rafaty, Ryan & Calel, Raphael & Grubb, Michael, 2022. "Allocation, allocation, allocation! The political economy of the development of the European Union Emissions Trading System," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 115431, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Koch, Nicolas & Themann, Michael, 2022. "Catching up and falling behind: Cross-country evidence on the impact of the EU ETS on firm productivity," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    5. von Graevenitz, Kathrine & Rottner, Elisa, 2022. "Do manufacturing plants respond to exogenous changes in electricity prices? Evidence from administrative micro-data," ZEW Discussion Papers 22-038, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Productivity; production function; markup; cost pass-through; EU ETS; climate policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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