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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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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.

A Note on Price Asymmetry as Induced Technical Change

Hillard G. Huntington

Year: 2006
Volume: Volume 27
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol27-No3-1
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This note evaluates whether fixed time effects (yearly dummy variables) are a better representation than separate price-decomposition terms for induced technical change in energy and oil demand. Fixed time effects are a proxy for all omitted variables that change similarly over time for all countries. Many of these omitted variables have little relevance to technical change. Empirically, statistical tests applied to previous studies reject an important premise of the fixed-time-effect model that energy or oil demand responds symmetrically to price increases and decreases. Moreover, when price-decomposition techniques allow for price-asymmetric responses, the estimated income elasticities are not dramaticalxly different from their fixed-time-effect counterparts, as it is sometimes alleged. There are also practical reasons for choosing models that allow for asymmetric responses to price, especially when evaluating the longrun implications of a number of important energy and environmental issues.

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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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).

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