MIT Logo Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Christopher R. Knittel

William Barton Rogers Professor of Energy Economics,
Sloan School of Management


Director,
Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, MIT


Faculty Co-Director,
The E2e Project, MIT and UC Berkeley


 Phone: 617.324.0015
 Fax: 617.258.6786
 Address: MIT
Sloan School of Management
100 Main Street
E62-520
Cambridge, MA 02142-1347

 E-mail:  knittel@mit.edu

 MITEI




Important Links

Vita:
pdf
MIT Sloan Home
MIT Home

CEEPR

E2e

Research Links:
NBER WPs
SSRN

Teaching:
Energy Economics and Policy, Syllabus

Distractions:
Photography
Steelers
Oakland As



"Now, this is totally irresponsible journalism on the part of Christopher Knittel at the New York Times."
--- Rush Limbaugh on his radio show, March 30th, 2007

"It [Knittel and Smith: 'Ethanol Production and Gasoline Prices'] seems to be heavy on snark and light on substance."
--- Matt Hartwig, Direct of Communications, Renewable Fuel Association, July 18, 2012 in Scientific American

Irresponsible publicity on the part of MIT

Bio

Christopher Knittel is the William Barton Rogers Professor of Energy Economics in the Sloan School of Management and the Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined the faculty at MIT in 2011, having taught previously at UC Davis and Boston University. Professor Knittel received his B.A. in economics and political science from the California State University, Stanislaus in 1994 (summa cum laude), an M.A. in economics from UC Davis in 1996, and a Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley in 1999. His research focuses on environmental economics, industrial organization, and applied econometrics. He is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in the Productivity, Industrial Organization, and Energy and Environmental Economics groups. Professor Knittel is an associate editor of The American Economic Journal -- Economic Policy, The Journal of Industrial Economics, Journal of Transportation Economics and Policy, and Journal of Energy Markets. His research has appeared in The American Economic Review, The American Economic Journal, The Review of Economics and Statistics, The Journal of Industrial Economics, The Energy Journal and other academic journals.



Available Working Papers

NEW! "Dash for Gas: The Sequel," joint with Konstantinos Metaxoglou (Carleton University) and Andre Trindade (Getulio Vargas Foundation). Paper in PDF Format

NEW! "Keeping it Fresh: Strategic Product Redesigns and Welfare," joint with Bruce A. Blonigen (Oregon) and Anson Soderbery (Purdue). In submission. Paper in PDF Format

"The Simple Economics of Commodity Price Speculation," joint with Robert S. Pindyck (MIT). Revisions requested from The American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics. Paper in PDF Format

"Unitended Consequences of Transportation Carbon Policies: Land-Use, Emission, and Innovation," joint with Stephen P. Holland (UNC), Jonathan E. Hughes (Colorado), and Nathan Parker (UC Davis--ITS). Revisions requested from The Energy JournalPaper in PDF Format

"The Welfare Impact of Indirect Pigouvian Taxation: Evidence from Transportation," joint with Ryan Sandler (FTC). In submission. Paper in PDF Format

"Stranded Vehicles: The Incidence of Gasoline Taxes Through the Lens of Vehicle Values," joint with Meghan Busse (Northwestern) and Florian Zettelmeyer (Northwestern). Preliminary Draft of Paper in PDF Format.

"Did `Cash for Clunkers' Deliver? The Consumer Effects of the Car Allowance Rebate System," joint with Meghan Busse (Northwestern) and Florian Zettelmeyer (Northwestern). Preliminary Draft of Paper in PDF Format.

"Who is Exposed to Gas Prices? How Gasoline Prices Affect Automobile Manufacturers and Dealerships," joint with Meghan Busse (Northwestern) and Florian Zettelmeyer (Northwestern). Revisions requested from
The Journal of Industrial Economics. Paper in PDF Format.

"Cleaning the Bathwater with the Baby: The Health Co-Benefits of Carbon Pricing in Transportation," joint with Ryan Sandler (UC Davis). Paper in PDF Format. (Replaced by "The Welfare Impact of Indirect Pigouvian Taxation: Evidence from Transportation.")

"Pharmaceutical Use Following Generic Entry: Paying Less and Buying Less," joint with Peter Huckfeldt (RAND).   Paper in PDF Format

"Demand Uncertainty Leads to Diverse Collusive Dynamics," joint with Jason Lepore (Cal Poly).
Paper in PDF Format

"Caution Drivers! Children Present: Traffic, pollution and infant health," joint with Douglas L. Miller (UC Davis) and Nicholas J. Sanders (UC Davis). Paper in PDF Format.

"The Implied Cost of Carbon Dioxide under the Cash for Clunkers ProgramPaper in PDF Format, Spreadsheet, Updated version using the final MPG numbers with other edits, as well. Paper in PDF Format.

"The Productivity Benefits of IT Outsourching," joint with Victor Stango (UC Davis GSM) Paper in PDF Format


Publications

"Some Inconvenient Truths About Climate Change Policy: The Distributional Impacts of Transportation Policies," joint with Stephen P. Holland (UNC), Jonathan E. Hughes (Colorado), and Nathan Parker (UC Davis--ITS). Forthcoming in The Review of Economics and Statistics. Paper in PDF Format

"Ethanol Production and Gasoline Prices: A Spurious Correlation," joint with Aaron Smith (UC Davis). Forthcoming, The Energy Journal. Paper in PDF Format, Computer Code for Replication, Data set I for replication, Data set II for replication.
           Response by Dermot Hayes
(accessed on 8/23/12).
           Our response to Dermot Hayes
.
           Second response by Dermot Hayes.

"The Origins of US Transportation Policy: Was There Ever Support for Gasoline Taxes?" Paper in PDF Format. Forthcoming, Tax Policy and the Economy. A shorter version is forthcoming in the The American Economic Review, Papers & Proceedings. Paper in PDF Format

"Celebrity Endorsements, Firm Value and Reputation Risk: Evidence from the Tiger Woods Scandal," joint with Victor Stango (UCD GSM). Forthcoming in Management Science.  Paper in PDF Format

"Estimation of Random Coefficient Demand Models: Challenges, Difficulties and Warnings," joint with Konstantinos Metaxoglou (Bates and White). Forthcoming in The Review of Economics and Statistics. Paper in PDF Format, Code and data associated with paper

"Are Consumers Myopic? Evidence from New and Used Car Purchases," joint with Meghan Busse (Northwestern) and Florian Zettelmeyer (Northwestern). The American Economic Review, 103(1), February 2013. Paper in PDF Format.

"Leveling the Playing Field for Natural Gas in Transportation." Hamilton Project Discussion Paper. Paper in PDF Format. Policy Brief.

"Reducing Petroleum Consumption from Transportation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 26(1), Winter 2012, pp. 93-118. Paper in PDF Format.

"Sacred Cars: Optimal Regulation of Stationary and Non-stationary Pollution Sources," joint with Meredith Fowlie (UCB) and Catherine Wolfram (UCB, Haas). The American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 4(1), February 2012, pp. 98-126. Paper in PDF Format, NBER Digest writeup

"Automobiles on Steroids: Product Attribute Trade-offs and Technological Progress in the Automobile Sector," In submission. Paper in PDF Format, NBER Digest writeup. The American Economic Review, 101(7), December 2011, pp. 3368-3399. Data used in paper (Stata format), Stata code used in paper

"Challenges in Merger Simulation Analysis," joint with Konstantinos Metaxoglou (Bates and White). The American Economic Review, Papers & Proceedings, 101(3), May 2011, pp. 56-59.Paper in PDF Format

"Strategic Incompatibility in ATM Markets," joint with Victor Stango (UC Davis GSM).   The Journal of Banking and Finance, 35(10), October 2011, pp. 2627-2636. Paper in PDF Format

"Carbon Prices and Automobile Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The Extension and Intensive Margins," joint with Ryan Sandler (UC Davis). Forthcoming in The Design and Implementation of U.S. Climate Policy, NBER Conference Volume, University of Chicago Press. Paper in PDF Format

"Tacit Collusion in the Presence of Cyclical Demand and Endogenous Capacity Levels," joint with Jason Lepore (Cal Poly).  The International Journal of Industrial Organization, 28(2), March 2010. Paper in PDF Format

"How Does Incompatibility Affect Prices?: Evidence from ATMs," joint with Victor Stango (UC Davis GSM). The Journal of Industrial Economics, 57(3), September 2009.
Paper in PDF Format

"Analysis of the Wealth Impact of Re-Allocation Decisions by Institutional Plan Sponsors," joint with Jeffrey Heisler (BU), John J. Neumann (St. John's) and Scott Stewart (BU). The Financial Analyst Journal 65(6), pp. 34-51. Winner of the Graham and Dodd Award of Excellence.  Paper in PDF Format

"Greenhouse Gas Reductions under Low Carbon Fuel Standards?," joint with Stephen P. Holland (UNC) and Jonathan E. Hughes (Colorado). The American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 1(1), Februrary 2009, pp. 106-146.
Paper in PDF Format, Matlab Code

"Inefficiencies and Market Power in Financial Arbitrage: A Study of California's Electricity Markets," joint with Severin Borenstein (UCB, Haas), James Bushnell (UC Davis), and Catherine Wolfram (UCB, Haas). The Journal of Industrial Economics, LVI(2), June 2008, pp 347-378.
Paper in PDF Format

"Diagnosing Unilateral Market Power in Electricity Reserves Market," joint with Konstantinos Metaxoglou (Bate White LLC). Journal of Energy Markets, 1(1), Spring 2008.
Paper in PDF Format

"Incompatibility, Product Attributes and Consumer Welfare: Evidence from ATMs," joint with Victor Stango (UC Davis GSM). BE Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy, Vol. 8 : Iss. 1 (Advances), 2008, Article 1.
Paper in PDF Format

"Re-Assessing the U.S. Quality Adjustment to Computer Prices: The Role of Durability and Changing Software," Price Index Concepts and Measurement, NBER and the Chicago Press, 2008. (Joint with Robert Feenstra (UC Davis)).
Paper in PDF Format


"Evidence of a Shift in the Short-Run Price Elasticity of Gasoline Demand," joint with Jonathan E. Hughes (Colorado) and Daniel Sperling (ITS, UC Davis). The Energy Journal, 29(1), January 2008. 
Paper in PDF Format

"Why Do Institutional Plan Sponsors Hire and Fire their Investment Managers?," joint with Jeffrey Heisler (BU), John J. Neumann (St. John's) and Scott Stewart (BU). Best Paper Award for the 31st NBEA Conference. The Journal of Business and Economic Studies, 13(1), Spring 2007.
Paper in PDF Format

"Biases in Static Oligopoly Models?: Evidence from the California Electricity Market," joint with Dae-Wook Kim (UC Davis). The Journal of Industrial Economics, LIV(4), December 2006. 
Paper in PDF Format

"The Adoption of State Electricity Regulation: The Role of Interest Groups," The Journal of Industrial Economics, LIV(2), June 2006.
Paper in PDF Format


"An Empirical Examination of Deregulated Electricity Prices," Energy Economics, 27(5), September 2005, pp. 791-817. (Joint with Michael Roberts (U of Penn, Wharton)).
Paper in PDF Format

"Regulatory Restructuring and Incumbent Price Dynamics: The Case of Local Telephone Restructuring," The Review of Economics and Statistics, 86(2), May 2004, pp. 614-625.
Paper in PDF Format

"Price Ceilings as Focal Points for Tacit Collusion: Evidence from the Credit Card Market,"  The American Economic Review, 93(5), December 2003, pp. 1703-1729. (Joint with Victor Stango (UC Davis GSM)).
Paper in PDF Format

"Market Structure and the Pricing of Electricity and Natural Gas," The Journal of Industrial Economics, LI(2), June 2003, pp. 167-192.
Paper in PDF Format

"Alternative Regulatory Methods and Firm Efficiency: Stochastic Frontier Evidence the US Electricity Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, 84(3), August 2002, pp. 530-540.
Paper in PDF Format

"Market Power in Electricity Markets: Beyond Concentration Measures," The Energy Journal, 20(4), October 1999. (Joint with Severin Borenstein (UCB, Haas) and James Bushnell (UC Davis)). 
Paper in PDF Format

"Interstate Long Distance Rates: Search Costs, Switching Costs and Market Power," The Review of Industrial Organization, 12(4), August 1997.
Paper in PDF Format 


Recent Regulatory/Policy Documents

The Importance of Pricing Transportation Fuels within California's Cap-and-Trade Program.

Congressional testimony in front of the House Committee on Small Business.

Knittel, Christopher R. "Review of `Understanding the impact of AB32,' Boston Consulting Group". Prepared for the UC Davis Policy Institute.

Bushnell, J, L. Goulder, C.R. Knittel, S. Levy, N.E. Ryan, N. Sidhu, J. Sweeney. "EAAC Economic Impacts Subcommittee Report on Air Resources Board's Updated AB 32 Scoping Plan Analysis.", March 2010.

Goulder, L., J. Adams, V. Arroyo, M. Barger, J.K. Boyce, D. Burtraw, J. Bushnell, R. Fisher, R. Frank, R. Frank, D. Kamman, C.R. Knittel, S. Levy, J. Nation, N.E. Ryan, N Sidhu, J.L. Sweeney. "Allocating Emissions Allowances Under a California Cap-and-Trade Program: Recommendations to the California Air Resources Board and California Environmental Protection Agency from the Economic and Allocation Advisory Committee", March 2010.

Arons, S.M., A.R. Brandt, M.A. Delucchi, A. Eggert, A.E. Farrell, B.K. Haya, J. Hughes, B.M. Jenkins, A.D. Jones, D.M. Kammen, S.R. Kaffka, C.R. Knittel, D.M. Lemoine, E.W. Martin, M.W. Melaina, J.M. Ogden, R.J. Plevin, D. Sperling, B.T. Turner, R.B. Williams, C. Yang, 2007. A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California, Part 1: Technical Analysis. Available Online: http://www.lcfs.ucdavis.edu.

Brandt, A.R., A.E. Farrell, B.K. Haya, J. Hughes, B.M. Jenkins, A.D. Jones, D.M. Kammen, C.R. Knittel, M.W. Melaina, M. OHare, R.J. Plevin, D. Sperling, 2007. A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California, Part 2: Policy Analysis. Available Online: http://www.lcfs.ucdavis.edu.

Peer Review Comments on AB 1493, California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resource Board, September 2004.



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