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Elasticity of substitution between clean and dirty energy inputs: A macroeconomic perspective


  • Papageorgiou, Chris
  • Saam, Marianne
  • Schulte, Patrick


Recently Acemolgu, Aghion, Bursztyn and Hemous (AER 2012) formulated a model in which a high macroeconomic elasticity of substitution between clean and dirty production represents a crucial condition for green growth. Until now it has never been systematically estimated. Using a novel panel of cross-country sectoral data, we formulate specifications of nested CES production functions that allow to estimate a special case of this parameter: the elasticity of substitution between clean and dirty energy inputs. Contrary to what is expected based on the earlier interfuel substitution literature, we find evidence that this elasticity exceeds one.

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  • Papageorgiou, Chris & Saam, Marianne & Schulte, Patrick, 2013. "Elasticity of substitution between clean and dirty energy inputs: A macroeconomic perspective," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-087, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:13087

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Leonardo Bursztyn & David Hemous, 2012. "The Environment and Directed Technical Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 131-166, February.
    2. Philippe Aghion & Antoine Dechezleprêtre & David Hémous & Ralf Martin & John Van Reenen, 2016. "Carbon Taxes, Path Dependency, and Directed Technical Change: Evidence from the Auto Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(1), pages 1-51.
    3. Miguel A. León-Ledesma & Peter McAdam & Alpo Willman, 2010. "Identifying the Elasticity of Substitution with Biased Technical Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1330-1357, September.
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    5. Serletis, Apostolos & Timilsina, Govinda & Vasetsky, Olexandr, 2011. "International evidence on aggregate short-run and long-run interfuel substitution," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 209-216, March.
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    7. Considine , Timothy J. & Larson, Donald F., 2009. "Substitution and technological change under carbon cap and trade : lessons from Europe," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4957, The World Bank.
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    12. Considine, Timothy J., 1989. "Separability, functional form and regulatory policy in models of interfuel substitution," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 82-94, April.
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    15. Mattauch, Linus & Creutzig, Felix & Edenhofer, Ottmar, 2015. "Avoiding carbon lock-in: Policy options for advancing structural change," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 49-63.
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    Cited by:

    1. Janda, Karel & Torkhani, Marouan, 2016. "Energy, carbon, and economic growth: Brief literature review," MPRA Paper 75439, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. van den Bijgaart, Inge, 2017. "The unilateral implementation of a sustainable growth path with directed technical change," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 305-327.
    3. Hémous, David, 2016. "The dynamic impact of unilateral environmental policies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 80-95.
    4. repec:eee:eneeco:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:612-626 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Andreas Schaefer, 2017. "Enforcement of Intellectual Property, Pollution Abatement, and Directed Technical Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 66(3), pages 457-480, March.
    6. van den Bijgaart, Inge, 2016. "Essays in environmental economics and policy," Other publications TiSEM 298bee2a-cb08-4173-9fe1-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

    More about this item


    clean and dirty energy inputs; aggregate elasticity of substitution; CES function; cross-country sectoral data; environmental policy;

    JEL classification:

    • O44 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Environment and Growth
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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