Working paper / Climate
A Meta-Analysis on the Price Elasticity of Energy Demand
Price elasticities of energy demand have become increasingly relevant in estimating the socio-economic and environmental effects of energy policies or of other events with influence on the prices of energy goods. Since the 1970s a large number of academic papers have provided both short and long-term price elasticity estimates for different countries by using several models, data and estimation techniques. Yet the literature offers a rather wide range of estimates for the price elasticities of demand for energy. This paper quantitatively summarizes the recent, but still sizeable, empirical evidence on this matter to facilitate a sounder economic assessment of energy price changes. It does so by using meta-analysis to identify the main factors affecting the elasticity results, both short and long term, for energy in general as well as for specific products: electricity, natural gas, gasoline, diesel and heating oil.