This dissertation consists of three essays studying the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in the energy policy field. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the effectiveness of ARRA funds, spent as temporary funding, on the change of energy efficiency policies, jobs, and technologies.
The first essay examined variation in local level energy-efficiency grants and corresponding initiatives from American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) in the United States. The analysis was based upon a hurdle model of counts of energy-efficiency grants received by 348 local governments that received these grants from 2009 to 2013, as well as 348 matched local governments that did not receive such funds. City-level characteristics including amount of federal financial support, per capita income, signaling of preferences for sustainability policies, manufacturing and political influences were shown to be empirically important determinants of variation in local energy-efficiency initiatives. The evidence suggested that all else held equal, the $21.8 billion in ARRA funds expended with the intent of promoting the diffusion of local energy-efficiency programs and policies successfully led to this end.
The second essay examined the impact of the ARRA funds allocated through an intergovernmental grant provision under the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) of the Department of Energy. The purpose of the second essay was to evaluate the effectiveness of the large-scale federal ARRA grant provision implemented under the EERE on job creation related to energy efficiency and renewable energy at the sub-national level. In doing so, it focuses on whether federal ARRA investments, designed to spur the U.S. economy through establishing an innovative energy technologies in intergovernmental grant programs for state and local government, effectively achieved their stated objectives of increasing job. Using the first difference regression model with instrumental variables, the second essay examined the effects of federal ARRA expenditures on job creation in the energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors from 2005 to 2015. The evidence suggests that all else held equal, the ARRA funds, implemented through the intergovernmental grant programs, successfully led to job creation in the energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors . The evidence suggested that ARRA funds led to a productive cumulative return on job creation in energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors during the period of ARRA.
The third essay analyzed whether federal ARRA investments, designed to spur new energy technologies in grant programs for state and local government, effectively achieved their stated objectives. The analysis was based upon a first difference regression model with instrumental variables. This essay examined the effects of federal ARRA expenditures on innovation activities in energy technologies from 2005 to 2015. The evidence suggests that all else held equal, the ARRA funds, implemented under the decentralized networks, successfully stimulated innovative activities in energy technologies. Results also showed that ARRA funds led to productive cumulative return on innovation activities toward alternative energy technologies and energy conservation technologies during the ARRA period.