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Energy Efficiency and Productive Efficiency: Some Thoughts Based on American Experience

Sam H. Schurr

Year: 1982
Volume: Volume 3
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol3-No3-1
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I am greatly honored to be the first recipient of the IAEE awards for contributions to the literature of energy economics and for service to the profession, and I want to express my deep apprecia-tion to the membership of the Association. The awards citation was very generous. Its reference to my early work in energy economics as having made fundamental contributions to the literature makes me less apologetic than might otherwise be the case for using this occasion to revisit (and partially update) some research that was first written up in a book published more than 20 years ago. Those findings, it seems to me, carry lessons for understanding problems that confrontus today, perhaps even more so now than in the comparatively tran-quil U.S, energy setting of the mid-1950s, when my colleagues and I were originally doing the research.

The Role of Energy in Productivity Growth

Dale W. Jorgenson

Year: 1984
Volume: Volume 5
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol5-No3-2
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The objective of this paper is to analyze the role of energy in the growth of productivity. The special significance of energy in economic growth was first established in the classic study Energy and the American Economy 1850-1975, by Schurr and his associates (1960) at Resources for the Future. From 1920 to 1955, Schurr noted, energy intensity of production had fallen while both labor and total factor productivity were rising.' The simultaneous decline of energy intensity and labor intensity of production could not be explained solely on the basis of substitution of less expensive energy for more expensive labor. Since the quantity of both energy and labor inputs required for a given level of output had been reduced, technical change would also be a critical explanatory factor.From 1920 to 1955 the utilization of electricity had expanded by a factor of more than ten, while consumption of all other forms of energy only doubled. The two key features of technical change during this period were that (1) the thermal efficiency of conversion of fuels into electricity increased by a factor of three, and (2) "the unusual characteristics of electricity had made it possible to perform tasks in altogether different ways than if the fuels had to be used directly."2 For example, as Schurr noted, the electrification of industrial processes had led to much greater flexibility in the application of energy to industrial production.

Productivity Growth and Technical Change in the Generation of Electricity

Paul L. Joskow

Year: 1987
Volume: Volume 8
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol8-No1-2
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No student of the electric power industry and its regulation can help but be troubled by the industry's recent historical record on productivity and technical change. For many years the electric power industry was one of the leading sectors of the economy in terms of productivity growth and technological innovation. This is no longer true. By almost every measure, productivity growth and technical change have virtually ceased in the past decade (or even decreased, by some estimates).

Productivity Trends in India's Energy Intensive Industries

Joyashree Roy, Jayant Sathaye, Alan Sanstad Puran Mongia and Katja Schumacher

Year: 1999
Volume: Volume20
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol20-No3-2
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This paper reports on an analysis of productivity growth and input trends in six energy intensive sectors of the Indian economy, using growth accounting and econometric methods. The econometric work estimates rates and factor price biases of technological change using a translog production model with an explicit relationship defined for technological change. Estimates of ownprice responses indicate that raising energy prices would be an effective carbon abatement policy for India. At the same time, our results suggest that, as with previous findings on the U.S. economy, such policies in India could have negative long run effects on productivity in these sectors. Inter-input substitution possibilities are relatively weak, so that such policies might have negative short and medium term effects on sectoral growth. Our study provides information relevant for the analysis of costs and benefits of carbon abatement policies applied to India and thus contributes to the emerging body of modeling and analysis of global climate policy.

The Role of Energy in Productivity Growth: A Controversial Issue?

Luis R. Murillo-Zamorano

Year: 2005
Volume: Volume 26
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol26-No2-4
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The main objective of this paper is to clarify the controversial role of energy in productivity growth. This is done by reconciling conventional approaches to the measurement of aggregated productivity growth with the microeconomic foundations provided by the energy economics and frontier productivity measurement literature. The use of Malmquist productivity indices allows us to broaden previous research by decomposing productivity growth into technological progress and technical efficiency change as well as analysing the relationship between energy and both sources of productivity change. By doing so, our findings are that energy indeed matters and that the consideration of technical efficiency contributes to a better understanding of both the temporal evolution and cross-country variability of aggregated productivity growth.

Impact of High-Powered Incentive Regulations on Efficiency and Productivity Growth of Norwegian Electricity Utilities

Livingstone Senyonga and Olvar Bergland

Year: 2018
Volume: Volume 39
Number: Number 5
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.39.5.lsen
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This study examines the hypothesis that changes to high-powered incentive regulations have a positive efficiency and productivity growth effects in a regulated electricity distribution industry. We estimate an input distance function using the stochastic frontier analysis method to compute technical efficiency scores for 121 Norwegian utilities over the period 2004-2012. We explore sources of productivity growth by parametrically decomposing the Malmquist productivity index into efficiency change, technical change, and scale change. Unlike previous studies, we examine the difference in performance across two regulatory regimes: yardstick competition (2007-2012) and RPI-X incentive regulation (2004-2006). Results show significant efficiency and productivity growth improvements with embodied technical change as the main driver.Keywords: Yardstick competition, Productivity growth, Efficiency, Input distance function, Stochastic frontier analysis, Electricity distribution, True fixed effects model

Environmental and Energy Efficiency of EU Electricity Industry: An Almost Spatial Two Stages DEA Approach

Simona Bigerna, Maria Chiara D’Errico, and Paolo Polinori

Year: 2019
Volume: Volume 40
Number: The New Era of Energy Transition
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.40.1.sbig
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This study analyzes the relationship between the energy efficiency and the stringency of environmental and market regulation in the electricity sectors has been analyzed. Using 19 European Union countries (2006-2014), we decomposed the environmental policy stringency index, the OECD regulatory indicators and the total factor productivity growth to highlight the complexity of the relations between electricity sector and regulatory policies. In the first stage we compute the three main components of total factor productivity. These three efficiency measures are used in the second stage to assess the impact of the regulatory policies on the total factor productivity also controlling for spatial effect. Results suggest that market and environmental regulations have not unidirectional impacts on the three components of total factor productivity. Pure and scale efficiency index are negatively affected by sectorial regulation that positively affect the shift of technological frontier. Environmental policy negatively affects the shift of the efficient frontier, but has a positive effect on the scale efficiency.

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