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China’s Energy Economy: Technical Change, Factor Demand and Interfactor/Interfuel Substitution

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With its rapid economic growth, China’s primary energy consumption has exceeded domestic energy production since 1994, leading to a substantial expansion in energy imports, particularly of oil. China’s energy demand has an increasingly significant impact on global energy markets. In this paper Allen partial elasticities of factor and energy substitution, and price elasticities of energy demand, are calculated for China using a two-stage translog cost function approach. The results suggest that energy is substitutable with both capital and labour. Coal is significantly substitutable with electricity and complementary with diesel while gasoline and electricity are substitutable with diesel. China’s energy intensity is increasing during the study period (1995-2004) and the major driver appears to be due to the increased use of energy intensive technology.

Suggested Citation

  • John Gibson & Bongguen Kim & Hengyun Ma & Les Oxley, 2008. "China’s Energy Economy: Technical Change, Factor Demand and Interfactor/Interfuel Substitution," Working Papers in Economics 08/01, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbt:econwp:08/01
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    File URL: http://www.econ.canterbury.ac.nz/RePEc/cbt/econwp/0801.pdf
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    Keywords

    China; Interfactor/interfuel substitution; Technology; Energy intensity decomposition;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices

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