Title: Time-saving innovations and their impact on energy use: some lessons from a household-production-function approach

Authors: Mathias Binswanger

Addresses: University of Applied Sciences Solothurn, Riggenbachstrasse 16, CH-4600 Olten, Switzerland

Abstract: This paper highlights a specific aspect of time allocation within households: the impact of time-saving technological progress on time use as well as on energy use for non-productive activities. It shows that, under standard assumptions, time-saving technological progress causes a feedback on time use (a rebound effect). If the feedback is strong, households may not save any time at all although they constantly invest in time-saving devices. Moreover, innovations of a time-saving nature tend to have a substantial impact on energy consumption. When the opportunity costs of time (the wage rate) are high and energy prices are low, time-saving innovations are also likely to increase energy consumption.

Keywords: household production; time allocation; time-saving innovations; rebound effect; energy use; energy consumption.

DOI: 10.1504/IJETP.2004.005153

International Journal of Energy Technology and Policy, 2004 Vol.2 No.3, pp.209 - 218

Available online: 07 Sep 2004 *

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