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Price Asymmetry in Energy Demand Models: A Proxy for Energy-Saving Technical Change?

James M. Griffin and Craig T. Schulman

Year: 2005
Volume: Volume 26
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol26-No2-1
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Abstract:
It has become fashionable to believe that energy and oil demand respond asymmetrically to price increases and decreases. Unfortunately, the asymmetric price model utilized by Gately and others has the unintended by-product of producing intercept shifts in the demand function purely in response to price volatility. Thus what is in fact energy saving technical change is attributed to price asymmetry. The two become observationally equivalent. Furthermore, the asymmetric price model has the peculiarity of being dependent on the starting point of the data period so that parameter estimates are not robust across different sample periods. We demonstrate empirically using a panel of OECD countries for oil and energy demand that symmetric price responses cannot be rejected after explicitly controlling for energy saving technical change within a fixed effects model.





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