NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Nils Kok

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Working Papers

January 2016Is California More Energy Efficient than the Rest of the Nation? Evidence from Commercial Real Estate
with Matthew E. Kahn, Peng Liu: w21912
California’s per-capita electricity consumption is 50 percent lower than national per-capita consumption. Mild climate, deindustrialization, and its demographics explain part of this differential. California energy efficiency policy is often claimed to be another key factor. A challenge in judging this claim is the heterogeneity of the real estate capital stock. Residential homes differ along a large number of physical attributes. We access a proprietary dataset from a large hotel chain that allows us to evaluate the environmental performance of comparable commercial real estate across the United States. Controlling for climate conditions and geographic location, we document that California’s commercial real estate stock is the most energy efficient at a point in time but this differential...
February 2014Big-Box Retailers and Urban Carbon Emissions: The Case of Wal-Mart
with Matthew E. Kahn: w19912
The commercial real estate sector is responsible for a large share of a city's overall carbon footprint. An ongoing trend in this sector has been the entry of big-box stores such as Wal-Mart. Using a unique monthly panel data set for every Wal-Mart store in California from 2006 through 2011, we document three main findings about the environmental performance of big-box retailers. First, Wal-Mart's stores exhibit very little store-to-store variation in electricity consumption relative to a control group of similar size and vintage retail stores. Second, Wal-Mart's store's electricity consumption is lower in higher priced utilities and is independent of the store's ownership versus leased status. Third, unlike other commercial businesses, Wal-Mart's newer buildings consume less electricity. ...
February 2013Commercial Building Electricity Consumption Dynamics: The Role of Structure Quality, Human Capital, and Contract Incentives
with Matthew E. Kahn, John M. Quigley: w18781
Commercial real estate plays a key role in determining the urban sustainability of a metropolitan area. While the residential sector has been the primary focus of energy policies, commercial buildings are now responsible for most of the durable building stock's total electricity consumption. This paper exploits a unique panel of commercial buildings to investigate the impact of building vintage, contract incentives, and human capital on electricity consumption across commercial structures. We document that electricity consumption and building quality are complements, not substitutes. Technological progress may reduce the energy demand from heating, cooling and ventilation, but the behavioral response of building tenants and the large-scale adoption of appliances more than offset these savi...

Published: Journal of Public Economics Volume 113, May 2014, Pages 1–12 Cover image Carbon emissions from the commercial building sector: The role of climate, quality, and incentives ☆ Matthew E. Kahna, d, , Nils Kokb, , , John M. Quigleyc

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

 
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