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Commercial Building Electricity Consumption Dynamics: The Role of Structure Quality, Human Capital, and Contract Incentives

Author

Listed:
  • Matthew E. Kahn
  • Nils Kok
  • John M. Quigley

Abstract

Commercial real estate plays a key role in determining the urban sustainability of a metropolitan area. While the residential sector has been the primary focus of energy policies, commercial buildings are now responsible for most of the durable building stock's total electricity consumption. This paper exploits a unique panel of commercial buildings to investigate the impact of building vintage, contract incentives, and human capital on electricity consumption across commercial structures. We document that electricity consumption and building quality are complements, not substitutes. Technological progress may reduce the energy demand from heating, cooling and ventilation, but the behavioral response of building tenants and the large-scale adoption of appliances more than offset these savings, leading to increases in energy consumption in more recently constructed, more efficient structures.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew E. Kahn & Nils Kok & John M. Quigley, 2013. "Commercial Building Electricity Consumption Dynamics: The Role of Structure Quality, Human Capital, and Contract Incentives," NBER Working Papers 18781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18781
    Note: EEE
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18781.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Glaeser, Edward L. & Kahn, Matthew E., 2010. "The greenness of cities: Carbon dioxide emissions and urban development," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 404-418, May.
    2. Kenneth A. Small & Kurt Van Dender, 2007. "Fuel Efficiency and Motor Vehicle Travel: The Declining Rebound Effect," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 25-52.
    3. Vernon Henderson & Adam Storeygard & David N. Weil, 2011. "A Bright Idea for Measuring Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 194-199, May.
    4. Piet Eichholtz & Nils Kok & John M. Quigley, 2010. "Doing Well by Doing Good? Green Office Buildings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2492-2509, December.
    5. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2011. "Electricity Consumption and Durable Housing: Understanding Cohort Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 88-92, May.
    6. A. Greening, Lorna & Greene, David L. & Difiglio, Carmen, 2000. "Energy efficiency and consumption -- the rebound effect -- a survey," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 389-401, June.
    7. Koichiro Ito, 2014. "Do Consumers Respond to Marginal or Average Price? Evidence from Nonlinear Electricity Pricing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(2), pages 537-563, February.
    8. Hirst, Eric & Jackson, Jerry, 1977. "Historical patterns of residential and commercial energy uses," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 131-140.
    9. Levinson, Arik & Niemann, Scott, 2004. "Energy use by apartment tenants when landlords pay for utilities," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 51-75, March.
    10. Brounen, Dirk & Kok, Nils & Quigley, John M., 2012. "Residential energy use and conservation: Economics and demographics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 931-945.
    11. Peter C. Reiss & Matthew W. White, 2008. "What changes energy consumption? Prices and public pressures," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(3), pages 636-663.
    12. Eric D. Gould & B. Peter Pashigian & Canice J. Prendergast, 2005. "Contracts, Externalities, and Incentives in Shopping Malls," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 411-422, August.
    13. Peter C. Reiss & Matthew W. White, 2005. "Household Electricity Demand, Revisited," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 853-883.
    14. Kahn, Matthew E. & Schwartz, Joel, 2008. "Urban air pollution progress despite sprawl: The "greening" of the vehicle fleet," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 775-787, May.
    15. Nils Kok & Marquise McGraw & John M. Quigley, 2011. "The Diffusion of Energy Efficiency in Building," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 77-82, May.
    16. Lucas W. Davis, 2008. "Durable goods and residential demand for energy and water: evidence from a field trial," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(2), pages 530-546.
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Wal-Mart as a Leading Case of Energy Efficiency at Large Retail Chains
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2014-02-19 21:04:00
    2. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Becker's Household Production Theory
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2014-06-05 21:08:00

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Yueming Qiu & Shuai Yin & Yi David Wang, 2016. "Peer Effects and Voluntary Green Building Certification," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(7), pages 1-15, July.
    2. Matthew E. Kahn & Nils Kok, 2014. "Big-Box Retailers and Urban Carbon Emissions: The Case of Wal-Mart," NBER Working Papers 19912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kahn, Matthew E. & Kok, Nils, 2014. "The capitalization of green labels in the California housing market," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 25-34.
    4. Daniel Matisoff, 2015. "Sources of specification errors in the assessment of voluntary environmental programs: understanding program impacts," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 48(1), pages 109-126, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation

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