nep-reg New Economics Papers
on Regulation
Issue of 2016‒09‒04
four papers chosen by
Natalia Fabra
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

  1. Bridging the Gap: Do Fast Reacting Fossil Technologies Facilitate Renewable Energy Diffusion? By Elena Verdolini; Francesco Vona; David Popp
  2. The economic impacts of telecommunications networks and broadband internet: A survey By Bertschek, Irene; Briglauer, Wolfgang; Hüschelrath, Kai; Kauf, Benedikt; Niebel, Thomas
  3. Competition in Swedish passenger railway : entry in an open-access market By Vigren, Andreas
  4. Estimating Indirect Benefits: Fracking, Coal and Air Pollution By Johnsen, Reid; LaRiviere, Jacob; Wolff, Hendrik

  1. By: Elena Verdolini (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and Centro Euro-Mediterraneo per i Cambiamenti Climatici); Francesco Vona (OFCE Sciences-Po and SKEMA Business School); David Popp (Syracuse University and NBER)
    Abstract: The diffusion of renewable energy in the power system implies high supply variability. Lacking economically viable storage options, renewable energy integration has so far been possible thanks to the presence of fast-reacting mid-merit fossil-based technologies, which act as back-up capacity. This paper discusses the role of fossil-based power generation technologies in supporting renewable energy investments. We study the deployment of these two technologies conditional on all other drivers in 26 OECD countries between 1990 and 2013. We show that a 1% percent increase in the share of fast-reacting fossil generation capacity is associated with a 0.88% percent increase in renewable in the long run. These results are robust to various modifications in our empirical strategy, and most notably to the use of system-GMM techniques to account for the interdependence of renewable and fast-reacting fossil investment decisions. Our analysis points to the substantial indirect costs of renewable energy integration and highlights the complementarity of investments in different generation technologies for a successful decarbonization process.
    Keywords: Renewable Energy Investments, Fossil Energy Investments, Complementarity, Energy and Environmental Policy
    JEL: Q42 Q48 Q55 O33
    Date: 2016–08
  2. By: Bertschek, Irene; Briglauer, Wolfgang; Hüschelrath, Kai; Kauf, Benedikt; Niebel, Thomas
    Abstract: We provide a structured overview of the quantitative literature on the economic impacts of telecommunications networks and broadband internet. Differentiating between wireline and wireless technologies as well as broadband availability and broadband adoption, respectively, we review studies investigating the impacts on economic growth, employment and regional development as well as productivity and firm performance. Eventually, the survey does not only allow the identification of main research gaps but also provides useful information for policy makers on the significance and importance of communication networks for social welfare.
    Keywords: Telecommunications,Broadband,Economic Growth,Employment,Regional Development,Productivity
    JEL: D24 J23 J24 L96 O33 O47
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Vigren, Andreas (VTI)
    Abstract: The Swedish market for passenger railway services has been open to competition since the year 2010. Although minor entries have been made since this date, the incumbent SJ only faced substantial competition when MTR Express entered the Stockholm-Gothenburg line in March 2015. Using unique Sweden ticket price data from operators' websites, this paper investigates what effects this entry has had on market prices. The results show that the incumbent's prices decreased by 12.8 percent on average between March 2015 and June 2016. The price level of the competitor is well below the average price that was offered on the railway market in the pre-entry period. Further, the largest price reduction, in percentage terms, was found on tickets booked 10 days before the departure date. Finally, the decrease in the average price of the incumbent seems to be an ongoing process, and a further drop in price would not be unexpected.
    Keywords: Railway; Entry; Open access; Competition; Prices; Web crawler
    JEL: C10 L19 L92 R40
    Date: 2016–08–29
  4. By: Johnsen, Reid (University of California, Berkeley); LaRiviere, Jacob (University of Tennessee); Wolff, Hendrik (Simon Fraser University)
    Abstract: This paper estimates indirect benefits of improved air quality induced by hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking". The recent increase in natural gas supply led to displacement of coal-fired electricity by cleaner natural gas-fired generation. Using detailed spatial panel data comprising the near universe of US power plants, we find that coal generation decreased by 28%. Further, fracking decreased local air pollution by an average of 4%. We show that benefits vary geographically; air pollution levels decreased by 35% in the most affected region. Back of the envelope calculations imply accumulated health benefits of roughly $17 billion annually.
    Keywords: fracking, coal-fired power plants, air pollution, health, electricity
    JEL: Q41 Q53 I18
    Date: 2016–08

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