Joseph A. Cullen

Washington University in St. Louis

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Institutional Affiliation: Washington University in St. Louis

NBER Working Papers and Publications

December 2014Inferring Carbon Abatement Costs in Electricity Markets: A Revealed Preference Approach using the Shale Revolution
with Erin T. Mansur: w20795
This paper examines how much carbon emissions from the electricity industry would decrease in response to a carbon price. We show how both carbon prices and cheap natural gas reduce, in a nearly identical manner, the historic cost advantage of coal-fired power plants. The shale revolution has resulted in unprecedented variation in natural gas prices that we use to estimate the short-run price elasticity of abatement. Our estimates imply that a price of $10 ($60) per ton of carbon dioxide would reduce emissions by 4% (10%). Furthermore, carbon prices are much more effective at reducing emissions when natural gas prices are low. In contrast, modest carbon prices have negligible effects when gas prices are at levels seen prior to the shale revolution.

Published: Joseph A. Cullen & Erin T. Mansur, 2017. "Inferring Carbon Abatement Costs in Electricity Markets: A Revealed Preference Approach Using the Shale Revolution," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, vol 9(3), pages 106-133. citation courtesy of

December 2006Did Big Government's Largesse Help the Locals? The Implications of WWII Spending for Local Economic Activity, 1939-1958
with Price V. Fishback: w12801
Studies of the development of local economies often point to large-scale World War II military spending as a source of long-term economic growth, even though the spending declined sharply after the demobilization. We examine the longer term impact of the temporary war spending on county economies using a variety of measures of socioeconomic activity: including per capita retail sales, the extent of manufacturing, population growth, the share of women in the work force, housing values and ownership, and per capita savings over the period 1940-1950. We find that in the longer term counties receiving more war spending per capita during the war experienced extensive growth due to increases in population but not intensive growth, as the war spending had very small impacts on per capita m...
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