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Thermal and Economic Measures of Energy Use: Differences and Implications

Jean-Thomas Bernard and Pierre Cauchon

Year: 1987
Volume: Volume 8
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol8-No2-9
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Abstract:
Statistical agencies often report aggregate energy use by expressing different energy types on a common basis with thermal conversion factors. Before the energy crisis of the 1970s Turvey and Nobay (1965) indicated some pitfalls associated with thermal conversion factors in the analysis of aggregate energy use. This point has been emphasized again by Berndt (1978). More recently Hong (1983) compared two Divisia indexes of energy use-one of the expenditure shares and the other with thermal shares-and he found the two indexes behaved differently in the United States from 1950 to 1978. The relationship between the relative prices of energy types, which change over time, and their relative thermal contents, which are usually taken to be constant, explains why these two measures of energy use follow different paths.



Special Feature U.S.-Canadian Trade Agreement: An Energy Colloquium

Philip K. Verleger, Jr., Leonard Waverman, Andre Plourde, Arlon R. Tussing, Henry Lee, Jean-Thomas Bernard

Year: 1988
Volume: Volume 9
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol9-No4-6
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Abstract:
The United States and Canada recently concluded a comprehensive agreement which calls for removing restrictions on trade between them, including energy. To explain the details of the energy portions of the agreement, we present by a series of comments by seven authors from both sides of the border. They deal with various energy sources (oil, gas, electricity and uranium) and with the situations peculiar to various geographic locations.



Electricity Exports and Hydro-Quebec's 1986-2000 Development Plan

Danny Manger and Jean-Thomas Bernard

Year: 1989
Volume: Volume 10
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol10-No1-12
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Abstract:
Between 1980 and 1986. Hydro-Quebec's electricity exports to neighboring utilities in the United States and Canada posted an average annual growth rate of 7.3 percent while regular electricity sales in Quebec increased by only 3.8 percent.' Exports accounted for 18.7 percent of the electricity sold by Hydro-Quebec and 13.9 percent of its income in 1986. The Premier of Quebec, Robert Bourassa, is strongly committed to a policy of promoting further firm electricity exports. mostly to the U.S. Northeast region.



The Convenience Yield and the Informational Content of the Oil Futures Price

Jean-Thomas Bernard, Lynda Khalaf, Maral Kichian, and Sebastien McMahon

Year: 2015
Volume: Volume 36
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.36.2.2
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Abstract:
Recent studies have shown that futures prices do not generally outperform naive no-change forecasts of spot prices, calling into question the usefulness of futures prices for forecasting purposes. However, such usefulness is predicated on the question of whether certain modeling strategies are able to yield more of the information found in futures prices. Applying a forecast-based approach, we study the extent to which alternative ways of modeling futures prices can reveal the extent of the information present in futures prices. Using weekly and monthly data, and futures of maturities of one to four months, we notably examine the out-of-sample predictability of futures prices over various forecast horizons, and in real-time, whereby parameters are updated prior to each sequential forecast. Our results with weekly data are particularly interesting. We find that models allowing for a time-varying convenience yield often produce considerably more precise forecasts over the three forecast horizons considered. Thus, more of the informational content of futures prices is attainable when both the price level and the distance of the latter from spot price are jointly considered, rather than when only the price level is considered. We also document that forecast performances improve with longer date-to-maturity futures, suggesting that the role of the convenience yield is greater when physical oil inventories are held for longer durations. Finally, we show that forecast accuracy is highest at the one year horizon, though the time-varying convenience models have a much higher accuracy than unit-root-based models even over the three and five-year horizons.





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