Thursday, November 9th, 2017 4:26 pm

Energy Sources

Question A: Subsidizing renewable energy sources is better than taxing fossil fuels, assuming the subsidy or tax would be set at levels that would reduce carbon emissions by an equivalent amount.

Responses
 

Source: European IGM Economic Experts Panel
www.igmchicago.org/european-economic-experts-panel

Responses weighted by each expert's confidence

Source: European IGM Economic Experts Panel
www.igmchicago.org/european-economic-experts-panel

Question B: Germany’s solar-energy subsidies to date have produced net social benefits for Germany.

Responses
 

Source: European IGM Economic Experts Panel
www.igmchicago.org/european-economic-experts-panel

Responses weighted by each expert's confidence

Source: European IGM Economic Experts Panel
www.igmchicago.org/european-economic-experts-panel

Question C: Solar-energy subsidies to date in Germany and other countries have produced net social benefits for the world.

Responses
 

Source: European IGM Economic Experts Panel
www.igmchicago.org/european-economic-experts-panel

Responses weighted by each expert's confidence

Source: European IGM Economic Experts Panel
www.igmchicago.org/european-economic-experts-panel

Question A Participant Responses

Participant University Vote Confidence Comment Bio/Vote History
Aghion Philippe Aghion Harvard Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Allen Franklin Allen Imperial College London Agree 6
There seem to be strong learning by doing effects. Subsidies can help target these where these effects are largest.
Bio/Vote History
         
Antras Pol Antras Harvard Uncertain 1
Bio/Vote History
         
Besley Timothy J. Besley LSE Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Blanchard Olivier Blanchard Peterson Institute Disagree 8
First pass: Fight a distortion, don't create a second one.
Bio/Vote History
         
Bloom Nicholas Bloom Stanford Disagree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Blundell Richard William Blundell University College London Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Bénassy-Quéré Agnès Bénassy-Quéré Paris School of Economics Disagree 7
Subsidies need to be financed through taxing other tax bases, with new distortions. Better to stick with the polluter-payer principle.
Bio/Vote History
         
Carletti Elena Carletti Bocconi No Opinion
Bio/Vote History
         
Danthine Jean-Pierre Danthine Paris School of Economics Disagree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
De Grauwe Paul De Grauwe LSE Uncertain 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Eeckhout Jan Eeckhout University College London Uncertain 8
Bio/Vote History
         
Fehr Ernst Fehr Universität Zurich Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Freixas Xavier Freixas Universitat Pompeu Fabra Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Fuchs-Schündeln Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln Goethe-Universität Frankfurt Disagree 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Galí Jordi Galí Universitat Pompeu Fabra No Opinion
Bio/Vote History
         
Garicano Luis Garicano LSE Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Giavazzi Francesco Giavazzi Bocconi Uncertain 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Griffith Rachel Griffith University of Manchester Agree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Guerrieri Veronica Guerrieri Chicago Booth Disagree 6
Bio/Vote History
         
Guiso Luigi Guiso Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Hellwig Martin Hellwig Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods Agree 6
Subsidizing renewable energy may induce innovation through learning by doing. Taxing carbon may just induce cross-border substitution.
Bio/Vote History
         
Honohan Patrick Honohan Trinity College Dublin Disagree 5
Better potential for double dividend.
Bio/Vote History
         
Kleven Henrik Kleven Princeton Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Krahnen Jan Pieter Krahnen Goethe University Frankfurt Agree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Krusell Per Krusell Stockholm University Strongly Disagree 9
A tax is a more direct instrument for reducing emissions - the main goal - and R&D subsidies are at best an imperfect substitute.
Bio/Vote History
         
Kőszegi Botond Kőszegi Central European University Disagree 7
Bio/Vote History
         
La Ferrara Eliana La Ferrara Bocconi Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Leuz Christian Leuz Chicago Booth Disagree 5
CO2 tax better than either one; Subs require govmnt to pick energy source & hard to justify unless spur innovation w/ large spillovers.
Bio/Vote History
         
Meghir Costas Meghir Yale Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Neary Peter Neary Oxford Disagree 4
Given revenue neutrality, choosing between the policies hinges on uncertainty (which renewables?) & on macro considerations: stimulus better
Bio/Vote History
         
O'Rourke Kevin O'Rourke Oxford No Opinion
Bio/Vote History
         
Pagano Marco Pagano Università di Napoli Federico II Uncertain 1
Bio/Vote History
         
Pastor Lubos Pastor Chicago Booth Disagree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Persson Torsten Persson Stockholm University Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Pissarides Christopher Pissarides LSE Strongly Agree 9
Tax plus subsidy acts on two fronts
Bio/Vote History
         
Portes Richard Portes London Business School Strongly Disagree 7
Budget constraint
Bio/Vote History
         
Prendergast Canice Prendergast Chicago Booth Agree 6
Bio/Vote History
         
Reichlin Lucrezia Reichlin London Business School Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Repullo Rafael Repullo CEMFI Disagree 6
Bio/Vote History
         
Rey Hélène Rey London Business School Strongly Disagree 7
Pollution needs to be taxed. Governments need revenues.
Bio/Vote History
         
Schoar Antoinette Schoar MIT Uncertain 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Van Reenen John Van Reenen MIT Disagree 5
Carbon taxes can be very effective in steering technical change & doesn't require so direction http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp1178.pdf
Bio/Vote History
         
Vickers John Vickers Oxford Strongly Disagree 4
Activities that generate negative externalities need direct discouragement
Bio/Vote History
         
Voth Hans-Joachim Voth University of Zurich Uncertain 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Weder di Mauro Beatrice Weder di Mauro Gutenberg University Mainz and INSEAD Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Whelan Karl Whelan University College Dublin Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Wyplosz Charles Wyplosz The Graduate Institute Geneva Disagree 4
These are equivalent measures, except that the first one raises the tax burden while the second one reduces it ceteris paribus.
Bio/Vote History
         
Zilibotti Fabrizio Zilibotti Universität Zurich Disagree 8
Bio/Vote History
         

Question B Participant Responses

Participant University Vote Confidence Comment Bio/Vote History
Aghion Philippe Aghion Harvard Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Allen Franklin Allen Imperial College London Agree 6
The quicker we get up the learning curve for these technologies the better.
Bio/Vote History
         
Antras Pol Antras Harvard No Opinion
Bio/Vote History
         
Besley Timothy J. Besley LSE Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Blanchard Olivier Blanchard Peterson Institute Uncertain 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Bloom Nicholas Bloom Stanford Uncertain 1
Bio/Vote History
         
Blundell Richard William Blundell University College London Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Bénassy-Quéré Agnès Bénassy-Quéré Paris School of Economics Disagree 7
Quite inefficient policy. Coal plants are still alive. Cost passed on households.
Bio/Vote History
         
Carletti Elena Carletti Bocconi No Opinion
Bio/Vote History
         
Danthine Jean-Pierre Danthine Paris School of Economics Uncertain 4
Bio/Vote History
         
De Grauwe Paul De Grauwe LSE Agree 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Eeckhout Jan Eeckhout University College London Uncertain 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Fehr Ernst Fehr Universität Zurich Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Freixas Xavier Freixas Universitat Pompeu Fabra Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Fuchs-Schündeln Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln Goethe-Universität Frankfurt Disagree 8
Bio/Vote History
         
Galí Jordi Galí Universitat Pompeu Fabra No Opinion
Bio/Vote History
         
Garicano Luis Garicano LSE Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Giavazzi Francesco Giavazzi Bocconi Uncertain 4
Bio/Vote History
         
Griffith Rachel Griffith University of Manchester Agree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Guerrieri Veronica Guerrieri Chicago Booth No Opinion
Bio/Vote History
         
Guiso Luigi Guiso Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Hellwig Martin Hellwig Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods Strongly Agree 10
We all feel so good about them!!! :-) A serious answer to the question is hardly possible.
Bio/Vote History
         
Honohan Patrick Honohan Trinity College Dublin Disagree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Kleven Henrik Kleven Princeton Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Krahnen Jan Pieter Krahnen Goethe University Frankfurt Uncertain 4
Bio/Vote History
         
Krusell Per Krusell Stockholm University Disagree 8
My understanding is that they have been very costly and not paid back for Germany.
Bio/Vote History
         
Kőszegi Botond Kőszegi Central European University Uncertain 9
Bio/Vote History
         
La Ferrara Eliana La Ferrara Bocconi Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Leuz Christian Leuz Chicago Booth Disagree 3
Wide range of estimates&benefits abroad; FiT&output sub often expensive; wind did better. Maybe offsetting benefits w/ energy independence
-see background information here
-see background information here
Bio/Vote History
         
Meghir Costas Meghir Yale Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Neary Peter Neary Oxford Uncertain 4
These policies are a global public good: clear net benefits for the world (emissions fall) but not necessarily for Germany
Bio/Vote History
         
O'Rourke Kevin O'Rourke Oxford No Opinion
Bio/Vote History
         
Pagano Marco Pagano Università di Napoli Federico II Agree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Pastor Lubos Pastor Chicago Booth Uncertain 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Persson Torsten Persson Stockholm University Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Pissarides Christopher Pissarides LSE No Opinion
I don't know enough about them to judge
Bio/Vote History
         
Portes Richard Portes London Business School Agree 6
Germany has fiscal space.
Bio/Vote History
         
Prendergast Canice Prendergast Chicago Booth Agree 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Reichlin Lucrezia Reichlin London Business School Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Repullo Rafael Repullo CEMFI No Opinion
Bio/Vote History
         
Rey Hélène Rey London Business School Agree 6
German energy policy relies far too much on coal. Needs meaningful carbon price.
Bio/Vote History
         
Schoar Antoinette Schoar MIT Uncertain 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Van Reenen John Van Reenen MIT Uncertain 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Vickers John Vickers Oxford Uncertain 3
They look a high-cost way to get the benefits, many of which are non-German. Hard to judge the net effect.
Bio/Vote History
         
Voth Hans-Joachim Voth University of Zurich Uncertain 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Weder di Mauro Beatrice Weder di Mauro Gutenberg University Mainz and INSEAD Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Whelan Karl Whelan University College Dublin Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Wyplosz Charles Wyplosz The Graduate Institute Geneva Disagree 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Zilibotti Fabrizio Zilibotti Universität Zurich No Opinion
Bio/Vote History
         

Question C Participant Responses

Participant University Vote Confidence Comment Bio/Vote History
Aghion Philippe Aghion Harvard Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Allen Franklin Allen Imperial College London Agree 6
Not so clear solar-power is the best alternative for Germany. I am afraid I don't know enough about the technologies and Germany's climate.
Bio/Vote History
         
Antras Pol Antras Harvard No Opinion
Bio/Vote History
         
Besley Timothy J. Besley LSE Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Blanchard Olivier Blanchard Peterson Institute Uncertain 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Bloom Nicholas Bloom Stanford Agree 2
Bio/Vote History
         
Blundell Richard William Blundell University College London Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Bénassy-Quéré Agnès Bénassy-Quéré Paris School of Economics Disagree 7
The problem is less solar-energy subsidies than the phasing out of nuclear power.
Bio/Vote History
         
Carletti Elena Carletti Bocconi No Opinion
Bio/Vote History
         
Danthine Jean-Pierre Danthine Paris School of Economics Disagree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
De Grauwe Paul De Grauwe LSE Uncertain 6
Bio/Vote History
         
Eeckhout Jan Eeckhout University College London Uncertain 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Fehr Ernst Fehr Universität Zurich Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Freixas Xavier Freixas Universitat Pompeu Fabra Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Fuchs-Schündeln Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln Goethe-Universität Frankfurt Disagree 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Galí Jordi Galí Universitat Pompeu Fabra No Opinion
Bio/Vote History
         
Garicano Luis Garicano LSE Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Giavazzi Francesco Giavazzi Bocconi Uncertain 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Griffith Rachel Griffith University of Manchester Agree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Guerrieri Veronica Guerrieri Chicago Booth No Opinion
Bio/Vote History
         
Guiso Luigi Guiso Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Hellwig Martin Hellwig Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods Agree 8
China is exporting lots of solar panels!
Bio/Vote History
         
Honohan Patrick Honohan Trinity College Dublin Agree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Kleven Henrik Kleven Princeton Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Krahnen Jan Pieter Krahnen Goethe University Frankfurt Uncertain 4
Bio/Vote History
         
Krusell Per Krusell Stockholm University Agree 5
The R&D has had benefits and the point is that they are global, not German-specific. I have not seen any cost-benefit analysis though.
Bio/Vote History
         
Kőszegi Botond Kőszegi Central European University Agree 7
Bio/Vote History
         
La Ferrara Eliana La Ferrara Bocconi Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Leuz Christian Leuz Chicago Booth Uncertain 3
Subs spurred tech dev & adoption that w’d not have occurred as quickly; also evidence of tech spillovers but size unclear yet crucial to Q.
-see background information here
Bio/Vote History
         
Meghir Costas Meghir Yale Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Neary Peter Neary Oxford Strongly Agree 4
Definitely positive, though clearly not necessarily very large relative to the scale of global emissions
Bio/Vote History
         
O'Rourke Kevin O'Rourke Oxford Agree 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Pagano Marco Pagano Università di Napoli Federico II Agree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Pastor Lubos Pastor Chicago Booth Agree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Persson Torsten Persson Stockholm University Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Pissarides Christopher Pissarides LSE Strongly Agree 9
They have reduced carbon emissions
Bio/Vote History
         
Portes Richard Portes London Business School Agree 3
Bio/Vote History
         
Prendergast Canice Prendergast Chicago Booth Agree 7
Bio/Vote History
         
Reichlin Lucrezia Reichlin London Business School Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Repullo Rafael Repullo CEMFI No Opinion
Bio/Vote History
         
Rey Hélène Rey London Business School Agree 7
Positive externality of more solar energy adoption
Bio/Vote History
         
Schoar Antoinette Schoar MIT Uncertain 8
Bio/Vote History
         
Van Reenen John Van Reenen MIT Agree 6
Bio/Vote History
         
Vickers John Vickers Oxford Uncertain 3
Again they look a high-cost way of doing it, even allowing for dynamic cost-reduction effects on solar power.
Bio/Vote History
         
Voth Hans-Joachim Voth University of Zurich Uncertain 5
Bio/Vote History
         
Weder di Mauro Beatrice Weder di Mauro Gutenberg University Mainz and INSEAD Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Whelan Karl Whelan University College Dublin Did Not Answer
Bio/Vote History
         
Wyplosz Charles Wyplosz The Graduate Institute Geneva Agree 3
The rest of the world stands to benefit from less toxic emissions in Germany at German taxpayer's expense.
Bio/Vote History
         
Zilibotti Fabrizio Zilibotti Universität Zurich No Opinion
Bio/Vote History
         

About the European IGM Economic Experts Panel

This panel explores the views of European economists on vital public policy issues. It does this by polling them on important policy questions, by including a way for them to explain their answers briefly if they wish, and by disseminating these responses directly to the public in a simple format.

To that end, our panel was chosen to include distinguished experts with a keen interest in public policy from the main areas of economics, to be geographically diverse, and to include older and younger scholars. As with the IGM’s US panel, the experts are all outstanding researchers in their fields. The panel includes recipients of top national and international prizes in economics, fellows of the Econometric society and the European Economic Association, members of distinguished national and international policymaking bodies in Europe, recipients of significant grants for economic research, highly accomplished affiliates and program directors of the Centre for Economic Policy Research and the National Bureau of Economic Research, and past and current editors of leading academic journals in the profession. This approach not only provides a set of panelists whose names will be familiar to other economists and the media, but also delivers a group with impeccable qualifications to speak on public policy matters in Europe and beyond.

Questions for the European IGM Economic Experts Panel are emailed individually to all members of the panel. They are phrased as statements with which one can agree or disagree. The experts are also asked how confident they are in their knowledge of the issue associated with the question (10 being highest). Each panelist responds electronically at his or her convenience. Panelists may consult whatever resources they like before answering. They may also include brief comments with their responses, or provide links to relevant sources.

It is important to explain one aspect of our voting process. In some instances a panelist may neither agree nor disagree with a statement, and there can be two very different reasons for this. One case occurs when an economist knows a lot about a topic and yet sees the evidence on the exact claim at hand as ambiguous. In such cases our panelists vote "uncertain". A second case relates to statements on topics so far removed from the economist's knowledge that he or she does not feel well placed to judge. In this case, our panelists vote "no opinion".

Panelists suggest many of the questions themselves. Members of the public are also welcome to suggest questions (see link below). Although IGM faculty members are responsible for deciding the final version of each question, we send a draft of the question to the panel in advance and invite them to point out problems with the wording if they see any. This process helps us to reduce vagueness or problems of interpretation.

The panel data are copyrighted by the Initiative on Global Markets and will be analyzed for an article to appear in a peer-reviewed journal.

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