International spillover and rebound effects from increased energy efficiency in Germany

Journal Article


  • Offers first CGE analysis of full global spill-over effects of energy efficiency
  • Derives rebound definitions at sector, all industry, economy-wide and global levels
  • Extends understanding of how rebound extends from industry to global economy levels
  • Shows that changes in comparative advantage may constrain global rebound effects


The pollution/energy leakage literature raises the concern that policies implemented in one country, such as a carbon tax or tight energy restrictions, might simply result in the reallocation of energy use to other countries. This paper addresses these concerns in the context of policies to increase energy efficiency, rather than direct action to reduce energy use. Using a global CGE simulation model, we extend the analyses of ‘economy-wide’ rebound from the national focus of previous studies to incorporate international spill-over effects from trade in goods and services. Our focus is to investigate whether these effects have the potential to increase or reduce the overall (global) rebound of local energy efficiency improvements. In the case we consider, increased energy efficiency in German production generates changes in comparative advantage that produce negative leakage effects, thereby actually rendering global rebound less than national rebound.