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  • C23  (4)
  • D80  (4)
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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-03-21
    Description: From both health and environmental policy perspectives, it is advisable to ensure that individuals maximise the nutritional gains from eating meat, without having a significantly adverse environmental impact, i.e. sustainable meat consumption pathways are imperative. This is especially true for developing countries, where rising incomes and growing populations have meant that meat consumption has also risen. India is an example of a country where a large share of the population has been vegetarian due to religious and cultural factors, although this is rapidly changing. In this paper, we hypothesise that social interactions and globalisation are two factors that explain this shift in consumption behaviour, especially amongst Hindu households. These hypotheses are based on the theoretical findings of Levy and Razin (2012). The empirical results show that Hindus that are members of religious groups are less likely to eat meat than non-member Hindus, whereas Hindus that are members of non-religious types of groups are more likely to eat meat than non-members. We also find that Hindu households that frequently use sources of media such as newspapers, the radio or television are more likely to consume meat compared to Hindus that do not. This paper provides important policy implications, both in terms of the formulation of Nationally Recommended Diets in developing countries, and in terms of identifying the channel of influence of both social networks and globalisation on social and religious norms, consumption behaviour, and ultimately, on climate change.
    Keywords: D83 ; Q18 ; Q54 ; C23 ; C26 ; ddc:330 ; Meat consumption ; Religious norms ; Social interactions ; Globalisation ; India
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:workingPaper
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  • 2
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    Zurich: ETH Zurich, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: The productive efficiency of a firm can be seen as composed of two parts, one persistent and one transient. The received empirical literature on the measurement of productive efficiency has paid relatively little attention to the difference between these two components. Ahn, Good and Sickles (2000) suggested some approaches that pointed in this direction. The possibility was also raised in Greene (2004), who expressed some pessimism over the possibility of distinguishing the two empirically. Recently, Colombi (2010) and Kumbhakar and Tsionas (2012), in a milestone extension of the stochastic frontier methodology have proposed a tractable model based on panel data the promises to provide separate estimates of the two components of efficiency. The approach developed in the original presentation proved very cumbersome actually to implement in practice. Colombi (2010) notes that FIML estimation of the model is ‘complex and time consuming.’ In the sequence of papers, Colombi (2010), Colombi et al. (2011, 2014), Kumbhakar, Lien and Hardaker (2012) and Kumbhakar and Tsionas (2012) have suggested other strategies, including a four step least squares method. The main point of this paper is that full maximum likelihood estimation of the model is neither complex nor time consuming. The extreme complexity of the log likelihood noted in Colombi (2010), Colombi et al. (2011, 2014) is reduced by using simulation and exploiting the Butler and Moffitt (1982) formulation. In this paper, we develop a practical full information maximum simulated likelihood estimator for the model. The approach is very effective and strikingly simple to apply, and uses all of the sample distributional information to obtain the estimates. We also implement the panel data counterpart of the JLMS (1982) estimator for technical or cost inefficiency. The technique is applied in a study of the cost efficiency of Swiss railways.
    Keywords: C1 ; C23 ; D2 ; D24 ; ddc:330 ; productive efficiency ; stochastic frontier analysis ; panel data ; transient and persistent efficiency
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:workingPaper
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: This paper estimates the level of transient and persistent efficiency in the use of electricity in Swiss households using the generalized true random effects model (GTREM). A panel dataset of 1, 994 Swiss households from 2010 to 2014 collected via a household survey is used to estimate an electricity demand frontier function. We further investigate whether energy and investment literacy have an influence on the household electricity consumption. The results show significant inefficiencies in the use of electricity among Swiss households, both transient (11%) and persistent (22%). We note that the high persistent inefficiency is indicative of structural problems faced by households and systematic behavioral shortcomings in residential electricity consumption. These results indicate a considerable potential for electricity savings and thus reaching the reduction targets defined by the Swiss federal council as part of the Energy Strategy 2050, wherein end-use efficiency improvement is one of the main pillars. The results support a positive role of energy and, in particular, investment literacy in reducing household electricity consumption. Policies targeting an improvement of these attributes could help to improve efficiency in the use of energy within households.
    Keywords: D12 ; D13 ; D80 ; Q41 ; Q48 ; ddc:330 ; Stochastic frontier analysis ; Transient and persistent efficiency ; Energy literacy ; Investment literacy ; Energy saving behaviour ; Residential electricity demand ; Household data
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: There is evidence that many individuals make sub-optimal investment decisions when the benefits and costs associated with that decision are distributed over time. One example is the decision to adopt new electrical appliances, with the benefits of choosing a more energy efficient device materializing only in the future. This paper analyses the impact of the level of an individual’s energy-related investment literacy on the adoption of energy-efficient appliances. Moreover, the empirical analysis explores the impact of decision support tools such as educational slides on the probability that individuals identify the appliance with the lowest lifetime cost, which is ideally also the most energy-efficient appliance. To test the influence of these decision support tools, we developed an online randomized controlled trial and implemented it on two independently chosen samples of the Swiss population. One treatment offers a short education program on how to calculate the lifetime cost of an appliance – via a set of information slides. The second intervention provides access to an online calculator that supports the investment decision-making of the individual. Results across the two samples are encouraging. We find that i) pre-treatment energy and investment literacy positively impact on the probability of identifying the appliance with the lowest lifetime cost; ii) the reinforcement of energy-related investment literacy increases the rate at which individuals identify the appliance with the lowest lifetime cost; and iii) while both interventions are effective in increasing the chances that an appliance with the lower lifetime cost is chosen, the online calculator turned out to be more effective than the educational program. Public policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: D12 ; D80 ; Q41 ; Q48 ; ddc:330 ; energy-efficient appliances ; energy-related investment literacy ; appliance choice ; bounded rationality ; educational programs ; online tool
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: Over the past few years, the price of electricity on the European market has decreased significantly and thereby the competitiveness and profitability of the Swiss hydropower firms has deteriorated. With one possibility to improve the sector’s competitiveness being an increase in the firms’ level of cost efficiency, the goal of this study is to quantify the firms’ level of persistent and transient cost efficiency using the generalized true random effects (GTRE) model introduced by Colombi et al. (2014) and Filippini and Greene (2015). Applying this newly developed GTRE model to a total cost function, the level of cost efficiency of 65 Swiss hydropower firms is analyzed for the period between 2000 and 2013. For comparison, a true random effects (TRE) specification is estimated alongside, serving as a benchmark for the transient level of cost efficiency. The results of the GTRE model show the presence of persistent as well as transient cost inefficiency. The existing level of persistent inefficiency could hinder the hydropower firms from reacting flexibly to new market environments.
    Keywords: C01 ; C23 ; D23 ; L94 ; Q25 ; ddc:330 ; Efficiency measurement ; stochastic frontier analysis ; persistent and transient cost efficiency ; hydropower ; Wasserkraftwerk ; Technische Effizienz ; Schweiz
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2017-11-29
    Description: It is an ongoing debate how to increase the adoption of energy-efficient light bulbs and household appliances in the presence of the so-called ’energy efficiency gap’. One measure to support consumers’ decision-making towards the purchase of more efficient appliances is the display of energy-related information in the form of energy-efficiency labels on electric consumer products. Another measure is to educate the consumers in order to increase their level of energy and investment literacy. Thus, two questions arise when it comes to the display of energy-related information on appliances: (1) What kind of information should be displayed to enable consumers to make rational and efficient choices? (2) What abilities and prior knowledge do consumers need to have to be able to process this information? In this paper, using a series of recursive bivariate probit models and three samples of 583, 877 and 1, 375 Swiss households from three major Swiss urban areas, we show how displaying information on the future energy consumption of electrical appliances in monetary terms, i.e. as an estimate of yearly energy cost (CHF) rather than in physical units (kWh), increases the probability that an individual performs an investment analysis and hence chooses the most (cost-)efficient appliance. In addition, our econometric results suggest that individuals with a higher level of energy and, in particular, investment literacy are more likely to perform an optimization rather than relying on a decision-making heuristic and are more likely to identify the most (cost-)efficient appliance.
    Keywords: D12 ; D80 ; Q41 ; Q48 ; ddc:330 ; energy-efficiency ; bounded rationality ; energy-using durables ; information ; energy label ; energy literacy ; choice experiment ; Energieeinsparung ; Lampe ; Umweltzeichen ; Konsumentenverhalten ; Begrenzte Rationalität ; Probit-Modell ; Ballungsraum ; Schweiz
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-11-30
    Description: Bounded rationality is an example of an important behavioral failure responsible for the energy-efficiency gap, whereby agents under-invest in energy-efficient technologies. One means of addressing this is by improving the energy-related financial literacy of households, which is defined as the combination of energy knowledge and cognitive abilities that are needed in order for agents to take sound decisions with respect to investment in durables. This has been found to improve the ability of agents to calculate the lifetime costs of technologies. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the determinants of energy-related financial literacy of respondents from about 2000 urban households in the Terai region of Nepal, and to analyze whether this ability has an effect on replacement attitudes of households regarding inefficient technologies. Using a novel household survey data, we find that respondents have low levels of energy-related financial literacy. While we find differences in the role of some socio-economic determinants of energy-related financial literacy compared to previous studies from developed countries, we also find certain common results, such as female respondents having lower scores. Additionally, we find that higher levels of energy-related financial literacy, especially stronger computational abilities, lead to more rational attitudes with regards to replacement of old appliances. As development has brought, and continues to bring, more households in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) closer to technologies of their liking, ensuring the adoption of energy-efficient technologies may be critical for ensuring sustainable development in the decades to come, and higher energy-related financial literacy may be one means of achieving that.
    Keywords: D12 ; D80 ; Q41 ; Q48 ; ddc:330 ; Bounded rationality ; Energy literacy ; Financial literacy ; Households ; Nepal
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 8
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    Zurich: ETH Zurich, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research
    Publication Date: 2019-11-30
    Description: The health and safety of workers are important determinants of their productivity. In manufacturing industries, occupational health and safety (OHS) measures are critical workplace practices for employers to ensure better working conditions for employees, particularly in industries with rampant indoor pollution. This paper studies the impact of investments undertaken by small and medium enterprises in Vietnam in worker health and safety (including in air quality improvements, heat and noise protection as well as in lighting measures) on labor productivity using a production function approach and panel data from 2011-2015. We find that the amount invested by the firm per worker has a significant positive effect on labor productivity. Moreover, our results hold true for both small and large firms, and for firms belonging to different subgroups of industries. Given historically poor working conditions in Vietnam, policy implications relate to the importance of OHS measures and pollution abatement in influencing economic outcomes such as productivity.
    Keywords: D83 ; Q18 ; Q54 ; C23 ; C26 ; ddc:330 ; Investments in health ; Indoor pollution ; Labor productivity ; Small and medium enterprises ; Vietnam
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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