nep-ene New Economics Papers
on Energy Economics
Issue of 2007‒12‒08
five papers chosen by
Roger Fouquet
Imperial College, UK

  1. Physical Market Determinants of the Price of Crude Oil and the Market Premium By Chevillon, Guillaume; Rifflart, Christine
  2. The gas chain : influence of its specificities on the liberalisation process By Carine Swartenbroekx
  3. Trends of U.S. Emissions of Nitrogen Oxides and Volatile Organic Compounds By Nina S. Jones; Eric Zivot; University of Washington
  4. Les péages urbains sont-ils efficaces pour réduire la pollution automobile ? By Yves Crozet
  5. When and Why Does it Pay to be Green? By Paul Lanoie; Stefan Ambec; Iain Scott

  1. By: Chevillon, Guillaume (ESSEC Business School); Rifflart, Christine (Sciences-Po Center for Economic Research (OFCE) and National Political Science Foundation)
    Abstract: We analyze the physical, i.e. non financial, determinants of the real price of crude oil by means of an equilibrium correction model over the last two decades. We find that two cointegrating relations affect the change in prices: one refers to OPEC's cartel behavior attempting to control prices using its market power and quotas; the other to the coverage rate of expected future demand by OECD using inventory behaviours. We derive an equation for the change in oil prices which we use to assess the speculative elements of the early millennium price hike. We show that worries alien to the physical markets are the causes of the increase in oil prices and are able to quantify their impact.
    Keywords: Cointegration; Forecast; Market Premium; Oil Price
    JEL: C53 Q40
    Date: 2007–06
  2. By: Carine Swartenbroekx (National Bank of Belgium, Microeconomic Information Department)
    Abstract: Like other network industries, the European gas supply industry has been liberalised, along the lines of what has been done in the United Kingdom and the United States, by opening up to competition the upstream and downstream segments of essential transmission infrastructure. The aim of this first working paper is to draw attention to some of the stakes in the liberalisation of the gas market whose functioning cannot disregard the network infrastructure required to bring this fuel to the consumer, a feature it shares with the electricity market. However, gas also has the specific feature of being a primary energy source that must be transported from its point of extraction. Consequently, opening the upstream supply segment of the market to competition is not so obvious in the European context, because, contrary to the examples of the North American and British gas markets, these supply channels are largely in the hands of external suppliers and thus fall outside the scope of EU legislation on the liberalisation and organisation of the internal market in gas. Competition on the downstream gas supply segment must also adapt to the constraints imposed by access to the grid infrastructure, which, in the case of gas in Europe, goes hand in hand with the constraint of dependence on external suppliers. Hence the opening to competition of upstream and downstream markets is not "synchronous", a discrepancy which can weaken the impact of liberalisation. Moreover, the separation of activities necessary for ensuring free competition in some segments of the market is coupled with major changes in the way the gas chain operates, with the appearance of new markets, new price mechanisms and new intermediaries. Starting out from a situation where gas supply was in the hands of vertically-integrated operators, the new regulatory framework that has been set up must, on the one hand, ensure that competitive forces can be given free rein, and, on the other hand, that free and fair competition helps the gas chain to operate coherently, at lower cost and in the interests of consumers, for whom the stakes are high as natural gas is an important input for many industrial manufacturing processes, even a "commodity" almost of basic necessity.
    Keywords: network industries, gas industry, gas utility, liberalisation, regulation, deregulation, market structure, European gas supply, oligopoly, OPEG.
    JEL: D23 D43 L13 L43 L95 L97
    Date: 2007–11
  3. By: Nina S. Jones (University of Washington); Eric Zivot; University of Washington
    Abstract: Using an array of unit root and structural break tests we find that the trend behavior of two air pollutants, Nitrogen Oxides (NOX) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), is substantially different. VOCs emissions are found to be trend-stationary with a break at the time the Clean Air Act of 1970 was passed whereas NOX emissions are found to be difference-stationary. The presence and location of a trend break in the NOX emissions depends on the test used, whether the break date is known or unknown in advance, the null hypothesis specification, and on data transformations.
    Date: 2007–11
  4. By: Yves Crozet (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - CNRS : UMR5593 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat)
    Abstract: Après avoir longtemps été proposé, sans succès, par les économistes comme un moyen de réduire la congestion routière, le péage urbain connaît un regain d’intérêt. Des villes comme Londres et Stockholm l’ont instauré, beaucoup d’autres s’interrogent. Ce que montrent ces expériences, c’est la grande diversité des objectifs que recèle l’idée de péage urbain. Dans cet ensemble, ce n’est pas forcément la dimension environnementale qui va l’emporter, mais plutôt une logique patrimoniale qui cherche à protéger la ville des effets pervers, non pas tant de la congestion que de la vitesse automobile.
    Keywords: péage urbain ; coûts de congestion ; tarification différenciée ; politique des transports urbains
    Date: 2007
  5. By: Paul Lanoie; Stefan Ambec; Iain Scott
    Abstract: <P>According to widely held beliefs, environmental protection is associated with an increase in costs for businesses imposed by the government. Over the last decade, this view has been challenged by a number of analysts. They have identified many possibilities, from a conceptual or theoretical point of view, whereby firms could offset the costs of sustaining the environment with higher profits.<br>First, a better environmental performance can lead to an increase in revenues through the following channels: i) a better access to certain markets; ii) the possibility to differentiate products, and iii) the possibility to sell pollution-control technology. Second, a better environmental performance can lead to cost reductions in the following categories: iv) regulatory costs; v) cost of material, energy and services; vi) cost of capital, and vii) cost of labour.<br>The purpose of this report is to provide empirical evidence supporting the existence of these opportunities and to assess their magnitude. For each of the seven possibilities identified above, we provide a discussion of the mechanisms involved and a systematic view of the empirical evidence available. The objective of this paper is not to show that a reduction of pollution is always accompanied by a better financial performance, it is rather to argue that the expenses incurred to reduce pollution can sometimes be partly or completely compensated by gains made elsewhere. Through a systematic examination of all the possibilities, we want to identify the circumstances most likely to lead to a “winwin” situation, i.e., better environmental and financial performance.
    Date: 2007–11–01

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