Energy Cost Pass-Through in U.S. Manufacturing: Estimates and Implications for Carbon Taxes
NBER Working Paper No. 22281
This paper studies how changes in energy input costs for U.S. manufacturers affect the relative welfare of manufacturing producers and consumers (i.e., incidence). In doing so, we develop a novel partial equilibrium methodology designed to estimate the incidence of input taxes. This method simultaneously accounts for three determinants of incidence that are typically studied in isolation: incomplete pass-through of input costs, differences in industry competitiveness, and substitution amongst inputs used for production. We apply this methodology to a set of U.S. manufacturing industries for which we observe plant-level unit prices and input choices. We find that about 70 percent of energy price-driven changes in input costs are passed through to consumers in the short- to medium-run. We combine industry-specific pass-through rates with estimates of industry competitiveness to show that the share of welfare cost borne by consumers is 25-75 percent smaller (and the share borne by producers is correspondingly larger) than models featuring complete pass-through and perfect competition would suggest.
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22281
Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these: