More on rebound, backlash, and the Jevons effect

Lynne Kiesling Back in July and also a couple of other times over the past two years, Mike has written here about the Jevons effect — when an increase in energy efficiency reduces the per-unit cost to the consumer of doing the energy-consuming action, moving her down along her energy demand curve and increasing her … More More on rebound, backlash, and the Jevons effect

Jevons Paradox: More on current controversies

Michael Giberson In the comments on yesterday’s post on the Jevons Paradox, Rick Lightburn notes an article on the rebound effect by the Rocky Mountain Institute, “The ‘Rebound Effect’: A Perennial Controversy Rises Again” (and see a follow up on the RMI blog). The RMI article links to and responds to, among other things, a comprehensive … More Jevons Paradox: More on current controversies

Efficiency, conservation, and the inescapable Jevons Paradox

Michael Giberson Given the preponderance of government energy policies aimed at promoting technical efficiency, a careful consideration of the Jevons Paradox is in order. I’ve spent some time this summer reading about William Stanley Jevons, one of the three 19th-century economists co-credited with sparking the marginal revolution, and especially Jevon’s book The Coal Question. Most recently I’ve … More Efficiency, conservation, and the inescapable Jevons Paradox

When to worry about the Jevons Paradox

Michael Giberson Tom Konrad explains, “When it Makes Sense to Worry About Jevons Paradox, and When it Doesn’t.” Konrad highlights the critical point – whether demand for the good in question is elastic or inelastic – and suggests that the demand for electric power is relatively inelastic and therefore the demand for lighting is inelastic, hence … More When to worry about the Jevons Paradox

History of economic thought course video: John Stuart Mill

Lynne Kiesling You may know John Stuart Mill the utilitarian philosopher, the JS Mill of On Liberty and of Utilitarianism. You may know him as the philosopher who can’t hold his shandy in the Monty Python philosopher’s song. What you may not know is how important an economist Mill was. He made some original contributions … More History of economic thought course video: John Stuart Mill

Obsolete boutique fuels and failure to arbitrage

Lynne Kiesling Andy Morriss (Univ. of Alabama Law School) and Don Boudreaux (George Mason University) have an excellent op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal, A Coca-Cola Solution to High Gas Prices. The punch line: environmental fuel formulation regulations balkanize wholesale fuel markets and make prices more volatile as a consequence. This is not a new … More Obsolete boutique fuels and failure to arbitrage

From rebound to backfire: Tierney column examines limits to use of energy efficiency policy to pursue energy conservation

Michael Giberson John Tierney’s column, “When Energy Efficiency Sullies the Environment,” in the New York Times examines the rebound effect and some of the broader consequences of trying to promote conservation through policies inducing energy efficiency. Some of the biggest rebound effects occur when new economic activity results from energy-efficient technologies that reduce the cost … More From rebound to backfire: Tierney column examines limits to use of energy efficiency policy to pursue energy conservation

The Economist: Making lighting more efficient could increase energy use

Michael Giberson The current issue of The Economist reports on research that concluded “making lighting more efficient could increase energy use, not decrease it.” SOLID-STATE lighting, the latest idea to brighten up the world while saving the planet, promises illumination for a fraction of the energy used by incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. A win all … More The Economist: Making lighting more efficient could increase energy use