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Bioenergy, Pollution, and Economic Growth

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  • Ankarhem, Mattias

    () (Department of Economics, Umeå University)

Abstract

This thesis consists of four papers: two of them deal with the effects on the forest sector of an increase in the demand for forest fuels, and two of them concern the relation between economic growth and pollution. Paper [I] is a first, preliminary study of the potential effects on the Swedish forest sector of a continuing rise in the use of forest resources as a fuel in energy generation. Sweden has made a commitment that the energy system should be sustainable, i.e., it should be based on renewable resources. However, an increasing use of the forest resources as an energy input could have effects outside the energy sector. We consider this in a static model by estimating a system of demand and supply equations for the four main actors on the Swedish roundwood market; forestry, sawmills, pulpmills and the energy sector. We then calculate the industries' short run supply and demand elasticities. Paper [II], is a development of the former paper. In this paper, we estimate the dynamic effects on the forest sector of an increased demand for forest fuels. This is done by developing a partial adjustment model of the forest sector that enables short, intermediate, and long run price elasticities to be estimated. It is relevant to study the effects of increased demand for forest fuels as the Swedish government has committed to an energy policy that is likely to further increase the use of renewable resources in the Swedish energy system. Four subsectors are included in the model: forestry, sawmills, pulpmills and the energy industry. The results show that the short run elasticities are fairly consistent with earlier studies and that sluggish adjustment in the capital stock is important in determining the intermediate and long run responses. Simulation shows that an increase in the demand for forest fuels has a positive effect on the equilibrium price of all three types of wood, and a negative effect on the equilibrium quantities of sawtimber and pulpwood. In paper [III] a Shephard distance function approach is used to estimate time series of shadow prices for Swedish emissions of CO2, SO2, and VOC for the period 1918 - 1994. The shadow prices are in a next step regressed on GDP per capita. The objective of the study is closely linked to hypothesis of environmental Kuznets curves. We conclude that the time series of the shadow prices from this approach can not be used to explain the EKCs found for Swedish emissions. In paper [IV], we calculate time series of shadow prices for Swedish emissions of CO2, SO2, and VOC for the period 1918 - 1994. The shadow prices are in a next step related to income, to explain the EKCs previously found for Swedish data on the three emissions. Newly constructed historical emission time series enable studying a single country's emission paths through increasing levels of economic activity. A directional distance function approach is used to estimate the industry's production process in order to calculate the opportunity costs of a reduction in the emissions. The time series of the shadow prices show support for EKCs for the Swedish industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Ankarhem, Mattias, 2005. "Bioenergy, Pollution, and Economic Growth," Umeå Economic Studies 661, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:umnees:0661
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Forest sector; Forest fuels; Dynamic factor demand; Adjustment costs; Economic growth; Pollution; Environmental Kuznets curve; Shadow price; Distance function;

    JEL classification:

    • L73 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Forest Products
    • L78 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Government Policy
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • 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
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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