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The national-level energy ladder and its carbon implications

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  • Burke, Paul J.

Abstract

This paper documents an energy ladder that nations ascend as their per capita incomes increase. On average, economic development results in an overall substitution from the use of biomass to fulfill energy needs to energy sourced from fossil fuels, and then toward nuclear power and certain low-carbon modern renewables such as wind power. The results imply an inverse-U shaped relationship between per capita income and the carbon intensity of energy, which is borne out in the data. Fossil fuel-poor countries are more likely to climb to the upper rungs of the national-level energy ladder and experience reductions in the carbon intensity of energy as they develop than fossil fuel-rich countries. Leapfrogging to low-carbon energy sources on the upper rungs of the national-level energy ladder is one route via which developing countries can reduce the magnitudes of their expected upswings in carbon dioxide emissions.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Environment and Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2013)
Issue (Month): 04 (August)
Pages: 484-503

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Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:18:y:2013:i:04:p:484-503_00

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  1. Paul J. Burke, 2010. "Income, resources, and electricity mix," CEPR Discussion Papers, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University 636, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  2. Tetsuya Tsurumi & Shunsuke Managi, 2010. "Decomposition of the environmental Kuznets curve: scale, technique, and composition effects," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 11(1), pages 19-36, February.
  3. David I. Stern, 2012. "Ecological Economics," Crawford School Research Papers, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University 1203, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  4. Kenneth B. Medlock III & Ronald Soligo, 2001. "Economic Development and End-Use Energy Demand," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 77-105.
  5. Heltberg, Rasmus, 2004. "Fuel switching: evidence from eight developing countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 869-887, September.
  6. Conrad,Jon M., 2010. "Resource Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521874953.
  7. Conrad,Jon M., 2010. "Resource Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521697675.
  8. Ang, B.W. & Liu, N., 2006. "A cross-country analysis of aggregate energy and carbon intensities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(15), pages 2398-2404, October.
  9. Catherine Norman, 2009. "Rule of Law and the Resource Curse: Abundance Versus Intensity," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 43(2), pages 183-207, June.
  10. Hadjilambrinos, Constantine, 2000. "Understanding technology choice in electricity industries: a comparative study of France and Denmark," Energy Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 28(15), pages 1111-1126, December.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. CCEP Working Papers in November 2011
    by David Stern in Stochastic Trend on 2011-12-03 01:00:00
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Cited by:
  1. Anjum, Zeba & Burke, Paul J. & Gerlagh, Reyer & Stern, David I., 2014. "Rethinking the Emissions-Income Relationship in Terms of Growth Rates," 2014 Conference (58th), February 4-7, 2014, Port Maquarie, Australia, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society 165876, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  2. Zsuzsanna Csereklyei & Stefan Humer, 2013. "Projecting Long-Term Primary Energy Consumption," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp152, Vienna University of Economics, Department of Economics.
  3. Zeba Anjum & Paul J. Burke & Reyer Gerlagh & David I. Stern, 2014. "Modeling the Emissions-Income Relationship Using Long-Run Growth Rates," CCEP Working Papers, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University 1403, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

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