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Path Dependence, Political Competition, and Renewable Energy Policy: A Dynamic Model

71 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2014  

Marion Dumas

Columbia University

James A Rising

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA)

Johannes Urpelainen

Johns Hopkins SAIS

Date Written: August 18, 2014

Abstract

Climate change mitigation requires sustainable energy transitions, but the political dynamics of these transitions are poorly understood. This article presents a general dynamic model of energy policy with long time horizons, endogenous electoral competition, and techno-political path dependence. Calibrating the model with data on the economics of contemporary renewable energy technologies, we show that partisan ideology produces large effects on energy policy if the competing parties disagree on the importance of energy policy in general. Endogenous electoral competition further strengthens these effects, provided the electorate considers energy policy an important issue. In addition, our model displays path dependence in the specific sense that the outcome depends on the historical order of elections. The results demonstrate that political dynamics could have large effects on the development of renewable energy and carbon dioxide emissions over time.

Keywords: renewable energy; sustainable energy transitions; political economy; computational models

Suggested Citation

Dumas, Marion and Rising, James A and Urpelainen, Johannes, Path Dependence, Political Competition, and Renewable Energy Policy: A Dynamic Model (August 18, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2482521

Marion Dumas

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

James Rising

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) ( email )

420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Johannes Urpelainen (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins SAIS ( email )

1740 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036-1984
United States

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