Time-Saving Innovations and Their Impact on Energy Use: Some Lessons from a Household-Production-Function Approach
University of Applied Sciences of Northwestern Switzerland Discussion Paper No. 2002-W01
24 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2003
Date Written: April 2002
This paper highlights a specific aspect of time allocation within households: the impact of timesaving technological progress on time use as well as on energy use for non-work 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 timesaving 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, allocation of time, time-saving innovations, rebound effect,energy use
JEL Classification: D13, Q41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation