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Removing Policy-based Comparative Advantage for Energy Intensive Production: Necessary Adjustments of the Real Exchange Rate and Industry Structure

Increased transmission capacity and diminishing returns to scale in power production capacities have raised the opportunity cost of electricity in many countries. The resulting market changes have often been counteracted by policy, i.e. subsidized electricity prices to for instance energy intensive industries. Firm data, emphasizing cost heterogeneity, confirm that a large share of Norwegian energy intensive firms would not be profitable in the long run if they lose their present electricity subsidies. However, CGE estimates show that removing the subsidies allows a tax cut that is more than sufficient to bring about the changes in relative prices needed to restore internal and external balances.

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Energy Specializations: Energy Modeling – Energy Data, Modeling, and Policy Analysis; Energy and the Economy – Energy as a Productive Input; Energy and the Economy –Economic Growth and Energy Demand; Energy and the Economy – Resource Endowments and Economic Performance; Energy and the Economy – Energy Shocks and Business Cycles

JEL Codes:
E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
O13 - Economic Development: Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products
Q34 - Natural Resources and Domestic and International Conflicts
F44 - International Business Cycles

Keywords: Industry policy, Comparative advantage, Structural change

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol31-No1-8

Published in Volume 31, Number 1 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.