NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Karen Fisher-Vanden

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

Working Papers and Chapters

January 2012Technology Variation vs. R&D Uncertainty: What Matters Most for Energy Patent Success?
with David Popp, Nidhi Santen, Mort Webster: w17792
R&D is an uncertain activity with highly skewed outcomes. Nonetheless, most recent empirical studies and modeling estimates of the potential of technological change focus on the average returns to research and development (R&D) for a composite technology and contain little or no information about the distribution of returns to R&D—which could be important for capturing the range of costs associated with climate change mitigation policies—by individual technologies. Through an empirical study of patent citation data, this paper adds to the literature on returns to energy R&D by focusing on the behavior of the most successful innovations for six energy technologies, allowing us to determine whether uncertainty or differences in technologies matter most for success. We highlight two key re...
Costly Blackouts? Measuring Productivity and Environmental Effects of Electricity Shortages
with Erin T. Mansur, Qiong (Juliana) Wang: w17741
In many countries, unreliable inputs, particularly those lacking storage, can significantly limit a firm's productivity. In the case of an increasing frequency of blackouts, a firm may change factor shares in a number of ways. It may decide to self generate electricity, to purchase intermediate goods that it used to produce directly, or to improve its technical efficiency. We examine how industrial firms responded to China's severe power shortages in the early 2000s. Fast-growing demand coupled with regulated electricity prices led to blackouts that varied in degree over location and time. Our data consist of annual observations from 1999 to 2004 for approximately 32,000 energy-intensive, enterprises from all industries. We estimate the losses in productivity due to factor-neutral and fact...

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

 
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