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EMF SR 12: Review of Key International Demand Elasticities for Major Industrializing Economies

This report conducts a selective review of various estimates for energy demand responses. It emphasizes recent empirical studies that include trends from studies published after 2000. Emphasis is placed on the five major emerging or transitional economies in Brazil, China, India, Mexico and Russia, although other important nations like Chile and South Korea are also discussed when studies are available. The review focuses attention on the long-run responses to changes in prices and income after capital stock turnover has been completed. The terminology often refers to elasticities, or the percentage change in energy use divided by the percentage change in price (or income), holding constant all other factors that could influence energy-use decisions. Most studies have focused upon household and transportation use of liquid fuels; many fewer studies have investigated fuels used by industry or commerce or for electric generation. Based upon the available estimates, price and income elasticities for liquid fuels are generally less than one (unity) for many countries and sectors, except for the long-run income effect for transportation purposes, which can range widely by country between 0.24 and 1.75 while averaging 0.94 for all countries.