IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hae/wpaper/2015-5.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Can Energy Efficiency Standards Reduce Prices and Improve Quality? Evidence from the US Clothes Washer Market

Author

Listed:
  • Arlan Brucal

    (UH-Manoa Department of Economics, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization)

  • Michael Roberts

    (UH-Manoa Department of Economics and University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization)

Abstract

We examine the effect of energy efficiency standards on the clothes washers market using a constant-quality price index constructed from same-model price changes for a significant majority of clothes washer models sold in the United States between 2001 and 2011. We find constant-quality prices fell over time, while quality increased, particularly around times energy standards changed. We estimate total welfare changes by assuming the di↵erence between average price and constant-quality price indicates average quality. Further examination shows product entry and exit are associated with changes federal standard for energy efficiency. With policy changes implicitly coordinating entry and exit, average vintage sharply falls when standards change. Controlling for individual model and time effects, we find that lower average vintage is associated with more rapidly falling prices, an effect we attribute to increased competition. We also find a strong relationship between clothes washer prices and average vintage of the same manufacturer, which indicates cannibalism explains much of the declining price of clothes washers over time. We apply the same methodology to other appliances (clothes dryer, room air conditioners and refrigerators) which did not experience simultaneous efficiency standard changes between 2001 and 2011. We see the same cannibalism in the market for clothes dryers, but not for room air conditioners or refrigerators. We also find notable improvements both in the characteristics of clothes washers that directly improve energy efficiency and those that promote convenience and space-saving. Energy efficiency standards appear to facilitate more rapid innovation and price declines.

Suggested Citation

  • Arlan Brucal & Michael Roberts, 2015. "Can Energy Efficiency Standards Reduce Prices and Improve Quality? Evidence from the US Clothes Washer Market," Working Papers 2015-5, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
  • Handle: RePEc:hae:wpaper:2015-5
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://uhero.hawaii.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/WP_2015-5.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2015
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mark Bils, 2009. "Do Higher Prices for New Goods Reflect Quality Growth or Inflation?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 637-675.
    2. Crampes, Claude & Hollander, Abraham, 1995. "Duopoly and quality standards," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 71-82, January.
    3. Steven Berry & James Levinsohn & Ariel Pakes, 2004. "Differentiated Products Demand Systems from a Combination of Micro and Macro Data: The New Car Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 68-105, February.
    4. Allcott, Hunt & Mullainathan, Sendhil & Taubinsky, Dmitry, 2014. "Energy policy with externalities and internalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 72-88.
    5. Hunt Allcott & Michael Greenstone, 2012. "Is There an Energy Efficiency Gap?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 3-28, Winter.
    6. Valletti, Tommaso M, 2000. "Minimum Quality Standards under Cournot Competition," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 235-245, November.
    7. Daniel McFadden & Kenneth Train, 2000. "Mixed MNL models for discrete response," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 447-470.
    8. Jerry Hausman, 2003. "Sources of Bias and Solutions to Bias in the Consumer Price Index," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 23-44, Winter.
    9. Parry, Ian W.H. & Evans, David & Oates, Wallace E., 2014. "Are energy efficiency standards justified?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 104-125.
    10. Gilbert, Richard J & Newbery, David M G, 1982. "Preemptive Patenting and the Persistence of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 514-526, June.
    11. Reinganum, Jennifer F, 1983. "Uncertain Innovation and the Persistence of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 741-748, September.
    12. Mark R. Jacobsen, 2013. "Evaluating US Fuel Economy Standards in a Model with Producer and Household Heterogeneity," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 148-187, May.
    13. Amil Petrin, 2002. "Quantifying the Benefits of New Products: The Case of the Minivan," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 705-729, August.
    14. Jerry A. Hausman, 1979. "Individual Discount Rates and the Purchase and Utilization of Energy-Using Durables," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 33-54, Spring.
    15. Jaffe, Adam B. & Stavins, Robert N., 1994. "The energy paradox and the diffusion of conservation technology," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 91-122, May.
    16. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, 1998. "The Effects of the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency Standards in the US," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 1-33, March.
    17. Uri Ronnen, 1991. "Minimum Quality Standards, Fixed Costs, and Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(4), pages 490-504, Winter.
    18. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-890, July.
    19. Train, Kenneth, 1985. "Discount rates in consumers' energy-related decisions: A review of the literature," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 10(12), pages 1243-1253.
    20. Steven Berry & Ariel Pakes, 2007. "The Pure Characteristics Demand Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1193-1225, November.
    21. Jaffe, Adam B. & Stavins, Robert N., 1994. "The energy-efficiency gap What does it mean?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(10), pages 804-810, October.
    22. Hassett, Kevin A. & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 1993. "Energy conservation investment : Do consumers discount the future correctly?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 710-716, June.
    23. Nancy L. Stokey, 1979. "Intertemporal Price Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(3), pages 355-371.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Brucal, Arlan & Roberts, Michael J., 2019. "Do energy efficiency standards hurt consumers? Evidence from household appliance sales," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 88-107.
    2. Todd D. Gerarden & Richard G. Newell & Robert N. Stavins, 2017. "Assessing the Energy-Efficiency Gap," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1486-1525, December.
    3. Cohen, François & Glachant, Matthieu & Söderberg, Magnus, 2017. "Consumer myopia, imperfect competition and the energy efficiency gap: Evidence from the UK refrigerator market," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 1-23.
    4. Kenneth Gillingham & Karen Palmer, 2014. "Bridging the Energy Efficiency Gap: Policy Insights from Economic Theory and Empirical Evidence," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 8(1), pages 18-38, January.
    5. Fischbacher, Urs & Schudy, Simeon & Teyssier, Sabrina, 2021. "Heterogeneous preferences and investments in energy saving measures," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    6. Fran�ois Cohen & Matthieu Glachant & Magnus S�derberg, 2015. "The impact of energy prices on energy efficiency: Evidence from the UK refrigerator market," GRI Working Papers 179, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    7. Huse, Cristian & Lucinda, Claudio & Cardoso, Andre Ribeiro, 2020. "Consumer response to energy label policies: Evidence from the Brazilian energy label program," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 138(C).
    8. Häckel, Björn & Pfosser, Stefan & Tränkler, Timm, 2017. "Explaining the energy efficiency gap - Expected Utility Theory versus Cumulative Prospect Theory," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 414-426.
    9. Lawrence Goulder, 2007. "Distributional and Efficiency Impacts of Increased U.S. Gasoline Taxes," Discussion Papers 07-009, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    10. Allcott, Hunt & Mullainathan, Sendhil & Taubinsky, Dmitry, 2014. "Energy policy with externalities and internalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 72-88.
    11. Hunt Allcott & Michael Greenstone, 2012. "Is There an Energy Efficiency Gap?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 3-28, Winter.
    12. Li, Jia & Just, Richard E., 2018. "Modeling household energy consumption and adoption of energy efficient technology," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 404-415.
    13. Grigolon, Laura & Reynaert, Mathias & Verboven, Frank, 2014. "Consumer valuation of fuel costs and the effectiveness of tax policy: Evidence from the European car market," CEPR Discussion Papers 10301, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Qiu, Yueming & Colson, Gregory & Wetzstein, Michael E., 2017. "Risk preference and adverse selection for participation in time-of-use electricity pricing programs," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 126-142.
    15. Richard G. Newell & Juha Siikamäki, 2014. "Nudging Energy Efficiency Behavior: The Role of Information Labels," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(4), pages 555-598.
    16. W. Ross Morrow & Steven J. Skerlos, 2011. "Fixed-Point Approaches to Computing Bertrand-Nash Equilibrium Prices Under Mixed-Logit Demand," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 59(2), pages 328-345, April.
    17. Samdruk Dharshing & Stefanie Lena Hille, 2017. "The Energy Paradox Revisited: Analyzing the Role of Individual Differences and Framing Effects in Information Perception," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 485-508, December.
    18. Greene, David L. & Evans, David H. & Hiestand, John, 2013. "Survey evidence on the willingness of U.S. consumers to pay for automotive fuel economy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1539-1550.
    19. Kirkpatrick, A. Justin & Bennear, Lori S., 2014. "Promoting clean energy investment: An empirical analysis of property assessed clean energy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 357-375.
    20. Louis-Gaëtan Giraudet & Sébastien Houde & Joseph Maher, 2018. "Moral Hazard and the Energy Efficiency Gap: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers hal-01420872, HAL.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:hae:wpaper:2015-5. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/heuhius.html .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: UHERO (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/heuhius.html .

    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.