Abstract

In spite of having been first introduced in the last half of the ninetieth century, the debate about the possible rebound effects from energy efficiency improvements is still an open question in the economic literature. This paper contributes to the existing research on this issue proposing an unbiased measure for economy-wide rebound effects. The novelty of this economy-wide rebound measure stems from the fact that not only actual energy savings but also potential energy savings are quantified under general equilibrium conditions. Our findings indicate that the use of engineering savings instead of general equilibrium potential savings downward biases economy-wide rebound effects and upward-biases backfire effects. The discrepancies between the traditional indicator and our proposed measure are analysed in the context of the Spanish economy.