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Effects of State Taxation on Investment: Evidence from the Oil Industry
We provide theoretical and empirical evidence that firms do not in general respond equally to changes in prices and taxes in the setting of oil well drilling in the United States. Our key theoretical contribution is that in a multi-state model, a change in output price changes both the benefit and opportunity cost of drilling, whereas a change in a state tax rate only changes the benefit of drilling in that state. Thus, a firm responds more to a change in tax than a change in price. Our econometric results support this theoretical prediction. We find that a one dollar per barrel increase in ...
The Income Share of Energy and Substitution: A Macroeconomic Approach
As the atmospheric concentration of CO2 emissions has grown to record levels, callshave grown for governments to make steeper emissions cuts, requiring to reduce an economy’s use of fossil energy dramatically. Meanwhile, in the U.S., fossil energy still met 80percent of the total energy demand as of 2019. This paper examines U.S. energy dependence, measured by its factor share, using a simple neoclassical framework in a systematicway. We find that with empirically plausible differences in substitution elasticities, particularly with a time-varying substitution elasticity between equipment ...
The Welfare Costs of Misaligned Incentives: Energy Inefficiency and the Principal-Agent Problem
In many settings, misaligned incentives and inadequate monitoring lead employees to take self-interested actions contrary to their employer's wishes, giving rise to the classic principal-agent problem. In this paper, I identify and quantify the costs of misaligned incentives in the context of an energy efficiency appliance replacement program. I show that contractors (agents) hired by the electric utility (the principal) increase their compensation by intentionally misreporting program data to deliberately authorize replacement of non-qualified refrigerators. I provide empirical estimates of ...