Climate Protection Potentials of Digitalized Production Processes: Microeconometric Evidence?

52 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2022

See all articles by Janna Axenbeck

Janna Axenbeck

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Thomas Niebel

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Date Written: 2021

Abstract

Although information and communication technologies (ICT) consume energy themselves, they are considered to have the potential to reduce overall energy intensity within economic sectors. While previous empirical evidence is based on aggregated data, this is the first large-scale empirical study on the relationship between ICT and energy intensity at the firm level. For this purpose, we employ administrative panel data on 28,600 manufacturing firms from German Statistical Offices collected between 2009 and 2017. Our results confirm a statistically significant and robust negative link between software capital as an indicator for the firm-level degree of digitalization and energy intensity, but the effect size is rather small. Hence, we conclude that energy intensity reductions related to the use of digital technologies are lower than expected.

Keywords: ICT, Firm-level panel data, Energy intensity improvements

JEL Classification: D22, D24, L60, O12, O14, O33, Q40

Suggested Citation

Axenbeck, Janna and Niebel, Thomas, Climate Protection Potentials of Digitalized Production Processes: Microeconometric Evidence? (2021). ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 21-105, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4031885 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4031885

Janna Axenbeck (Contact Author)

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

Thomas Niebel

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

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