This paper measures the impact of nonrenewable energy prices on renewable energy consumption. Despite the sizeable literature that links them, there is still insufficient evidence regarding how long it takes for price shocks to affect renewable consumption.
Using VAR models and monthly data 1973-2018, our results show that energy price surges lead to more biomass, geothermal, solar and wood energy consumption in the medium and long run.
We also found that including information on energy price fluctuations improves the forecasting of renewable energy consumption compared to models which ignore them. The implication are varied and crucial for policymakers using energy tax policy to influence prices and incentivizing renewable energy utilization to address the growing environmental concerns.
''The dynamic effects of educational attainment on crime,” with Bebonchu Atems, R & R at PLOS One.
The quality of early education can impact both the final educational attainment and the earnings. Childhood migrants come at different ages from countries with differing early education quality. In this study, we aim at exploiting this disparity to measure the impact on final education attainment across late and early childhood immigrants. Our measure of origin country education quality is the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) scores conducted by the OECD countries and other nonmembers countries. We find, at first, that late childhood immigrants of top scoring countries end up with 1.13 more years of final education compared to those from lower scoring countries.
We measure the joint impact of public education expenditures and institutions on growth. Despite the prolific analysis of each, their combined effect has received little attention in the literature. Starting from an endogenous growth model, we derive a regression that is estimated in a panel of 112 countries (1970-2019). We find that the impact of education spending is positive but decreasing with institution quality, especially in rich and developing countries. Our finding suggests a possible redundancy between the two, especially when countries with relatively strong institutions also spend greatly on education. The implication is not that either is less important. Rather, the marginal benefit of education spending exhibits a decreasing return on growth when a strong institutional context is not accounted for.
''Energy reform and renewable energy consumption: Evidence from Austria,” with Rohan Crichton.
The impact of biomass consumption on food prices,” with Bebonchu Atems.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 increased the amount of biofuels that must be mixed with commercial gasoline sold in the US to 7.5 billion gallons by 2012. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 further increased this requirement to 36 billion gallons by 2022. This increase in the production and consumption of biofuels may compel farmers to divert significant quantities of cropland away from food and feed crops, which, in turn may lead to a rise in crop prices, feed prices, meat and poultry prices, and hence, overall food prices. Employing structural vector autoregression (SVAR) models and monthly US data for the period 1974:01 to 2019:12, this paper examines the impact of biomass consumption on food prices. We find that for the period since the passage of the Energy Policy Act, a shock to biomass consumption raises food prices significantly and persistently.
We study the impact of economic uncertainty on U.S. wages using online newspaper information. The data is collected via natural language processing (NLP) of leading news outlets between 2001 to 2018. We find that surges in general economic uncertainty are associated with reduced U.S. wages. Adding up the current and lagged effects leads to a 2.12 \% decline in the average wage level. Our results are robust to alternative specifications of U.S. economic uncertainty with instruments based on foreign economic uncertainty.
Work in progress
The Kansas Tax Experiment: Did Industries Benefit? (with Ross Milton)
In 2012, the state of Kansas eliminated taxation for business income and lowered marginal tax rates on other personal income sources. Contrary to predictions of the new legislation's proponents, prior work has found that the tax reform had no significant impact on the aggregate state employment or real economic activity. In this paper we examine two remaining questions. First, we examine whether accounting for contemporaneous events affecting specific industries and metropolitan areas alters this conclusion. Second, drawing on the fact that the policy targets "pass-through" businesses, we categorize industries based on the prevalence of pass-throughs in it and examine whether high pass through industries saw more favorable outcomes after the tax cut. We examine both questions using synthetic control methods. We find that even excluding the possible effects of a downturn in the energy industry or the departure of Boeing there is no evidence of a positive effect of employment. While industries with more pass-through businesses show somewhat less negative impacts than those with fewer, placebo analyses show that this is not unusually the case in Kansas.