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Identifying the Rebound: Evidence from a German Household Panel

Manuel Frondel, Jorg Peters, and Colin Vance

Year: 2008
Volume: Volume 29
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol29-No4-7
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Abstract:
Using a panel of household travel diary data collected in Germany between 1997 and 2005, this study assesses the effectiveness of fuel efficiency improvements by estimating the rebound effect, which measures the extent to which higher efficiency causes additional travel. Following a theoretical discussion outlining three alternative definitions of the rebound effect, the econometric analysis generates corresponding estimates using panel methods to control for the effects of unobservables that could otherwise produce spurious results. Our results, which range between 57% and 67%, indicate a rebound that is substantially larger than obtained in other studies, calling into question the efficacy of policies targeted at reducing energy consumption via technological efficiency.



Willingness to Pay for Energy Conservation and Free-Ridership on Subsidization: Evidence from Germany

Peter Grosche and Colin Vance

Year: 2009
Volume: Volume 30
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol30-No2-7
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Abstract:
Understanding the determinants of home-efficiency improvements is significant to a range of energy policy issues, including the reduction of fossil fuel use and environmental protection. This paper analyzes retrofit choices by assembling a unique data set merging a nationwide household survey from Germany with regional data on wages and construction costs. To explore the influence of both heterogeneous preferences and correlation among the utility of alternatives, we estimate conditional-, random parameters-, and error components logit models that parameterize the influence of costs, energy savings, and household-level socioeconomic attributes on the likelihood of undertaking one of 16 renovation options. We use the model coefficients to derive household-specific marginal Willingness to Pay estimates, and with these assess the extent to which free-ridership may undermine the effectiveness of recently implemented programs that subsidize the costs of retrofits.



Re-Identifying the Rebound: What About Asymmetry?

Manuel Frondel and Colin Vance

Year: 2013
Volume: Volume 34
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.34.4.3
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Abstract:
Rebound effects measure the behaviorally induced offset in the reduction of energy consumption following efficiency improvements. Using panel estimation methods and household travel diary data collected in Germany between 1997 and 2009, this study identifies the rebound effect in private transport by allowing for the possibility that fuel price elasticities--from which rebound effects can be derived--are asymmetric. This approach rests on empirical evidence suggesting that the response in individual travel demand to price increases is stronger than to decreases. We argue that such an asymmetric response would require referencing price elasticities derived from price decreases in order to identify the rebound effect, as it represents the response to a decrease in unit cost for car travel due to improved fuel efficiency. Failing to reject the null hypothesis of a symmetric price response, we alternatively estimate a reversible specification and obtain a rebound estimate for single-vehicle households being in the range of 46 to 70%, which is in line with an earlier German study by Frondel, Peters, and Vance (2008).



Germany’s Energiewende: A Tale of Increasing Costs and Decreasing Willingness-To-Pay

Mark A. Andor, Manuel Frondel, and Colin Vance

Year: 2017
Volume: Volume 38
Number: KAPSARC Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.38.SI1.mand
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Abstract:
This paper presents evidence that the accumulating cost of Germany's ambitious plan to transform its system of energy provision - the so-called Energiewende - is butting up against consumers' willingness-to-pay (WTP) for it. Following a descriptive presentation that traces the German promotion of renewable energy technologies since 2000, we draw on two stated-preference surveys conducted in 2013 and 2015 that elicit the households' WTP for green electricity. Two models are estimated, one based on a closed-ended question framed around Germany's target of 35% renewable energy in electricity provision by 2020, and the other on an open-ended format that captures changes in WTP over time. To deal with the bias that typifies hypothetical responses, the models distinguish respondents according to whether they express definite certainty in their reported WTP. The results from both models reveal a strong contrast between the households' general acceptance of supporting renewable energy technologies and their own WTP for green electricity.





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