Estimating Energy Elasticity of Substitution within a Macro-Production Function of Iran Using a two stage CES Function

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD Candidate in Economics, Faculty of Administrative Sciences and Economics, University of Isfahan

2 Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University


As compared to worlds Energy consumption data for Iran’s economy shows that in Iran, energy is not used optimally indexes. Increasing energy price is said to be a solution to this problem. But for this solution to work, one crucial condition is that in production process, firms have the ability to substitute energy with other factors. Otherwise, instead of substitution between energy and other inputs (i.e. capital and labor) price increase would occur (inflation). So estimating elasticity of substitution between energy input and capital or labor is very important. In this line, we have specified and estimated a production function for Iran’s economy with constant elasticity of substitution (CES). As in its primary forms, CES production function allows only for two inputs, we have introduced a compound input to have three inputs in our production function. Our estimation, using non-linear methods, showes that in Iran, elasticity of substitution between energy with labor or capital is low, and production technology doesn’t allow firm to substitute energy with other inputs. We can conclude that energy price increase in the short run would lead to inflation and lowers in production level, instead of improving energy usage. 


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