nep-ene New Economics Papers
on Energy Economics
Issue of 2005‒11‒09
eight papers chosen by
Roger Fouquet
Imperial College, UK

  1. Sectoral Energy- and Labour-Productivity Convergence By Henri De Groot; Peter Mulder
  2. Context Matters – Rethinking the Resource Curse in Sub-Saharan Africa By Matthias Basedau
  3. Development and innovation of technological networks in some peripheral urban areas. By Luca Ruggiero
  4. The impact of the liberalisation process on the comptitiveness of firms: a case study in the Alpine regions of Switzerland By Christof Abegg; Alain Thierstein
  5. Market Power Assessment and Mitigation in Hydrothermal Systems By Rafael Kelman; Luiz Barroso; Mario Pereira
  6. Backcasting energy saving and CO2 emission reductions by using feebates system in Japan By Keiko Hirota; Minato Kiyoyuki; Kii Masanobu
  7. Transboundary Pollution and Welfare Effects of Technology Transfer By Yasuhiro Takarada
  8. Location decision of polluting firms and environmental policy By Francesco Prota; Francesco Contò

  1. By: Henri De Groot; Peter Mulder
    Abstract: This paper provides an empirical analysis of energy- and labour-productivity convergence at a detailed sectoral level for 14 OECD countries, covering the period 1970-1997. A -convergence analysis shows that the development of cross-country variation in productivity performance depends on the level of aggregation. Both patterns of convergence as well as divergence are found. A -convergence analysis provides support for the hypothesis that in most sectors lagging countries tend to catch up with technological leaders, in particular in terms of energy productivity. Moreover, the results show that convergence is conditional rather than unconditional, meaning that productivity levels converge to country-specific steady states, and that cross-country differences of energy-productivity levels are substantially larger than of labour-productivity levels at all levels of sectoral aggregation. Finally, searching for the fundamentals determining cross-country productivity differentials reveals a positive productivity effect of energy prices and economies of scale in several sectors, while wages, investment share, openness and specialization play only a very limited role in explaining (cross-country differences in) energy- and labour-productivity growth. Keywords: energy productivity, labour productivity, convergence, sectoral analysis JEL codes: O13, O47, O5, Q43
    Date: 2004–08
  2. By: Matthias Basedau (Deutsches Übersee-Institut)
    Abstract: Natural resources in sub-Saharan Africa suffer from a bad reputation. Oil and diamonds, particularly, have been blamed for a number of Africa’s illnesses such as poverty, corruption, dictatorship and war. This paper outlines the different areas and transmission channels of how this so-called “resource curse” is said to materialize. By assessing empirical evidence on sub-Saharan Africa it concludes that the resource curse theory fails to sufficiently explain why and how several countries have not or only partly been affected by the “curse”. Theoretically, the paper argues that whether or not natural resources are detrimental to a country’s socio-economic and political development depends on a number of contextual variables, divided into country-specific conditions and resource-specific conditions (type, degree/level of abundance and dependence, resource revenue management, involved companies etc.). Methodologically, a future research agenda needs to examine the complex interplay of these contextual variables by adding sophisticated comparative research designs, especially “small and medium N” comparisons, to the tool box which has been widely confined to the juxtaposition of “large N” and country case studies.
    Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa; Natural Resources, Political Economy, Institutions, Violent Conflict, Socio-Economic Development; Democracy
    JEL: B25 N5 N57 O13
    Date: 2005–08–16
  3. By: Luca Ruggiero
    Abstract: The society that emerged out of the crisis of the fordist model of production and organisation of space is increasingly dominated by development, innovation and diffusion of urban technological networks (telecommunications, transport, energy, etc.). There are nowadays, working at different geographical scales, an amount of projects to increase the number of networks and connect a larger number of people and organisations. This is based on the notion that the emergence of an internationally-integrated and increasingly urbanised Network Society would allow better connection between the local and the global level and vice versa, giving those marginal areas the opportunity to take part to the main development dynamics. The rise of the network society is also often associated with a regeneration of the local administrations, in ways that would make them more efficient and clear, improving territorial government and citizens quality of life. Besides, the development of the ‘digital city’ seems to be connected with the emergence of new professional careers and a virtual space interacting community that would help to better meet the needs of local society and increase the level of participation to territorial government decision making. On the opposite side some authors argue that the contemporary conditions of development and innovation of infrastructure networks world-wide are particularly favourable to ‘secessionary tendencies’ and lead to the deliberate creation of premium networks that selectively tend to connect together only the most favoured users and places. In the present paper I will analyse these contradictory tendencies attributed to the development and innovation of infrastructure networks operating within and between cities. I will concentrate mainly on the experience of some, considered, marginal urban realities of the Mediterranean area.
    Date: 2004–08
  4. By: Christof Abegg; Alain Thierstein
    Abstract: The liberalisation process has many faces. It gives rise to economic, social and cultural change. From a spatial point of view, fears are frequently expressed that liberalisation can lead to disadvantages for peripheral regions, especially in the sparsely populated Alpine region. Companies in these peripheral regions, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SME s) see themselves as confronted by a wide variety of challenges in maintaining their competitiveness. This paper is concerned with the effects of the liberalisation process on firms in the Swiss Alpine region. Following the introduction, a second stage will give a brief characterisation of the liberalisation process, with reference to the changes in the ideas of the state which lie behind it. The third section presents the outline of a research study which looks into the effects of the liberalisation of public services on firms in the Swiss Alpine region. Section four presents some empirical results of this study. Using the four sectors of telecommunications, the postal service, public regional transport and electricity, some liberalisation effects from the point of view of these enterprises are put forward. Section five includes contexts and conclusions: it can be seen that public services are important to enterprises in mountainous regions, but are not a decisive influence on their competitiveness. Overall, liberalisation mainly benefits large companies. The passive and cautious behaviour of small and medium-sized enterprises means that they make insufficient use of the potential advantages of liberalisation. Moreover, liberalisation contributes to an increased spatial polarisation within the Alpine region. The paper concludes by providing information on political strategies for spatial development at canton and Federal state level.
    Date: 2004–08
  5. By: Rafael Kelman (PSR); Luiz Barroso (PSR); Mario Pereira (PSR)
    Abstract: The objective of this work is to investigate market power issues in bid- based hydrothermal scheduling. Initially, market power is simulated with a single stage Nash-Cournot equilibrium model. Market power assessment for multiple stages is then carried through a stochastic dynamic programming scheme. The decision in each stage and state is the equilibrium of a multi-agent game. Thereafter, mitigation measures, specially bilateral contracts, are investigated. Case studies with data taken from the Brazilian system are presented and discussed.
    Keywords: Game theory, Hydroelectric-thermal power generation, Power generation economics
    JEL: C7 D8
    Date: 2005–08–30
  6. By: Keiko Hirota; Minato Kiyoyuki; Kii Masanobu
    Abstract: After the Kyoto Conference (COP3), the Japanese transport sector was required to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 16% by 2010. The Japanese government has decided to improve the fuel economy standard in 2010 by improving it by an average of 22.8%. However, Japanese consumers tend to prefer heavier passenger cars such as four-wheel drive or recreational vehicles. Because of the difficult target of COP3, environmental policy should involve not only automotive technologies but also non-technical measures. Since Japanese vehicle taxes are expensive compared to other OECD countries, we would like to introduce the “feebate”, a word composed from “fee” and “rebate”, as a “Green Tax” at the acquisition stage. The feebate system charges a fee for less fuel-efficient vehicles and refunds for vehicles more fuel efficient than the fuel efficiency standard. This system is a market based alternative by fuel efficiency standards so that it can be tax neutral. Acquisition tax does not affect to environmental sustainability. Since social marginal cost has increased more and more, it is not always realistic to impose all the costs at the motoring tax level. The feebate system could partially share the social marginal cost and might mitigate the rebound effect at the motoring stage. We use the data set from 1995-2001 on fuel efficiency by vehicle type and the fuel efficiency standards of 1995. The contribution of this paper will be to propose a combination of feebate rate and CO2 emission reduction by vehicle gross weight group.
    Date: 2004–08
  7. By: Yasuhiro Takarada
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine the welfare effects of pollution abatement technology transfer in a two-good two-country model with transboundary pollution. In each country, one industry emits pollution as a joint product of output and the sum of domestic and cross-border pollution decreases productivity of the other industry. Then, we show that technology transfer can bene?t the recipient country regardless of the level of cross-border pollution. Moreover, the donor country gains from technology transfer if all pollution is transboundary but it may harm the donor country with out cross-border pollution. We demonstrate that the effects of technology transfer depend on the trade pattern as well as cross-border pollution. Keywords: Environment; Pollution; Technology transfer; Pareto-improving transfer JEL classi?cation: D62; F18; O39
    Date: 2004–08
  8. By: Francesco Prota; Francesco Contò
    Abstract: The delocation of firms is often viewed as a major outcome of a stiff environmental policy. In this paper, we study the impact of a strict anti-pollution policy pursued by a government on domestic firms locational decisions and determine the main variables that interact with such a policy. Some preliminary welfare implications are also provided. Keywords: Environmental policy; Plant location; Imperfect competition. JEL classification: H7; R3; D4.
    Date: 2004–08

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