DP9177 Energy-Saving Technical Change

Author(s): John Hassler, Per Krusell, Conny Olovsson
Publication Date: October 2012
Keyword(s): directed technical change, energy saving
JEL(s): e0, o3, q32
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=9177

We estimate an aggregate production function with constant elasticity of substitution between energy and a capital/labor composite using U.S. data. The implied measure of energy-saving technical change appears to respond strongly to the oil-price shocks in the 1970s and has a negative medium-run correlation with capital/labor-saving technical change. Our findings are suggestive of a model of directed technical change, with low short-run substitutability between energy and capital/labor but significant substitutability over longer periods through technical change. We construct such a model, calibrate it based on the historical data, and use it to discuss possibilities for the future.