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Greenhouse gas emissions and the productivity growth of electricity generators


  • Greg Murtough

    (Productivity Commission)

  • David Appels

    (Productivity Commission)

  • Anna Matysek

    (Productivity Commission)

  • CA Knox Lovell


This paper analyses electricity generation in four Australian states and the Northern Territory in the late 1990s It finds that productivity growth estimates for electricity generators can change significantly when allowance is made for greenhouse gas emissions. Using an innovative analytical technique for incorporating environmental impacts in productivity estimates, it shows that productivity growth is overestimated when emission intensity is rising and underestimated when emission intensity is falling. This is because emissions are undesirable and so if they fall (grow) per unit of output then this will tend to increase (decrease) estimated productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Greg Murtough & David Appels & Anna Matysek & CA Knox Lovell, 2002. "Greenhouse gas emissions and the productivity growth of electricity generators," Others 0201002, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpot:0201002
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gian Carlo Scarsi, 1999. "Local Electricity Distribution in Italy: Comparative Efficiency Analysis and Methodological Cross-Checking," Working Papers 1999.16, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    2. Yaisawarng, Suthathip & Klein, J Douglass, 1994. "The Effects of Sulfur Dioxide Controls on Productivity Change in the U.S. Electric Power Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(3), pages 447-460, August.
    3. Reig-Martinez, Ernest & Picazo-Tadeo, Andres & Hernandez-Sancho, Francesc, 2001. "The calculation of shadow prices for industrial wastes using distance functions: An analysis for Spanish ceramic pavements firms," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 277-285, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vernon Topp & Tony Kulys, 2014. "On Productivity: The Influence of Natural Resource Inputs," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 27, pages 64-78, Fall.

    More about this item


    greenhouse gas emissions - productivity growth - electricity - abatement;

    JEL classification:

    • R - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics

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