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Oil Products in Latin America: The Politics of Energy Pricing

Thomas Sterner

Year: 1989
Volume: Volume 10
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol10-No2-4
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Abstract:
This paper looks at the pricing of petroleum products in Latin America and compares the policies adopted in countries with different endowments and with different traditions as to state involvement in the oil industry. I find that, in contrast to the OECD countries, product prices are used extensively as instruments of policy and that in general the more oil a country has the lower are its domestic prices. They also tend to be lower in the presence of state monopolies.



Energy Efficiency and Capital Embodied Technical Change: The Case of Mexican Cement Manufacturing

Thomas Sterner

Year: 1990
Volume: Volume 11
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol11-No2-9
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Abstract:
This paper analyses energy efficiency in the Mexican cement industry by studying disaggregated data at the plant and production unit level. A short-run production function is examined to look at the substitution possibilities between labour and energy with given equipment, but these are found to be limited (as expected). Instead, reduction of energy use per unit of output is mainly due to capital embodied technical progress: the most important improvements in plant efficiency are related to investments in new pieces of specific equipment. Average energy intensity of the branch as a whole is, therefore, mainly explained by capacity expansion. Finally, the importance of factor prices and the relevance of our results to other industries are discussed.



Political Economy Obstacles to Fuel Taxation

Henrik Hammar, Asa Lofgren and Thomas Sterner

Year: 2004
Volume: Volume 25
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol25-No3-1
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Abstract:
Many studies have shown that fuel demand is quite elastic and that the best way to reduce fuel use (to tackle climate issues) is by taxing fuel. Yet it seems almost impossible to do so, particularly in those countries with low prices and high demand. The purpose of this paper is to cast light on the difficulties of raising gasoline taxes by analyzing the determinants of gasoline taxation. We believe that one of the reasons for the difficulties is that political pressure influences the political decisions regarding taxation of gasoline consumption. Not only do low taxes and thus low prices encourage high consumption, but high levels of consumption also lead to considerable pressure against raising the taxes. Our findings also point to the significance of other factors such as government debt (a higher debt leads to a higher gasoline tax rate).





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