Not only subterranean forests: Wood consumption and economic development in Britain (1850–1938)
AbstractThis paper analyzes wood consumption in Britain over the period 1850–1938. We calculate the apparent consumption of wood, taking into account both net imports of wood and the home harvest. We then develop some quantitative exercises that correlate wood consumption with GDP, with prices of wood and iron (as an alternative material to wood) and with other measures. The main conclusion is that, although wood had lost its economic centrality after the energy transition, wood consumption continued to grow in Britain both in absolute and relative terms, showing a positive elasticity to GDP superior to the unit. This result allows us to reach a more complete understanding of the socio-metabolic transition associated with the Industrial Revolution. Britain faced the increase in wood demand by relying almost entirely on imported wood, reinforcing the idea that the decoupling of economic growth from land use must to be handled with care, and should be observed not at the national level but on a global scale. Although British economic development was to a great extent focussed on what has been called the “subterranean forests” of coal, it simultaneously supported large tracts of surface foreign forest.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.
Volume (Year): 77 (2012)
Issue (Month): C ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon
Wood; Forest history; Industrialization; Consumption function;
Other versions of this item:
- Iñaki Iriarte-Goñi & María Isabel Ayuda, 2011. "Not Only Subterranean Forests: Wood Consumption And Economic Development In Britain (1850-1938)," Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) 1107, Asociación Española de Historia Económica.
- C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models &bull Diffusion Processes
- N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913
- N54 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: 1913-
- O13 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
- Q21 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kwiatkowski, Denis & Phillips, Peter C. B. & Schmidt, Peter & Shin, Yongcheol, 1992.
"Testing the null hypothesis of stationarity against the alternative of a unit root : How sure are we that economic time series have a unit root?,"
Journal of Econometrics,
Elsevier, vol. 54(1-3), pages 159-178.
- Kwiatkowski, D. & Phillips, P.C.B. & Schmidt, P., 1990. "Testing the Null Hypothesis of Stationarity Against the Alternative of Unit Root : How Sure are we that Economic Time Series have a Unit Root?," Papers 8905, Michigan State - Econometrics and Economic Theory.
- Denis Kwiatkowski & Peter C.B. Phillips & Peter Schmidt, 1991. "Testing the Null Hypothesis of Stationarity Against the Alternative of a Unit Root: How Sure Are We That Economic Time Series Have a Unit Root?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 979, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Wrigley,E. A., 2010. "Energy and the English Industrial Revolution," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521131858, December.
- Allen,Robert C., 2009.
"The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521687850, December.
- Allen,Robert C., 2009. "The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521868273, December.
- Wrigley,E. A., 2010. "Energy and the English Industrial Revolution," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521766937, December.
- Fridolin Krausmann & Heinz Schandl & Rolf Peter Sieferle, 2007.
"Socio-Ecological Regime Transitions in Austria and the United Kingdom,"
Socio-Economics and the Environment in Discussion (SEED) Working Paper Series
2007-05, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems.
- Krausmann, Fridolin & Schandl, Heinz & Sieferle, Rolf Peter, 2008. "Socio-ecological regime transitions in Austria and the United Kingdom," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 187-201, March.
- Peter C.B. Phillips & Chi-Young Choi & Donggyu Sul, 2004.
"Prewhitening Bias in HAC Estimation,"
Yale School of Management Working Papers
ysm426, Yale School of Management.
- Schandl, Heinz & Schulz, Niels, 2002. "Changes in the United Kingdom's natural relations in terms of society's metabolism and land-use from 1850 to the present day," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 203-221, May.
- Iriarte-Goñi, Iñaki & Ayuda, Maria Isabel, 2008. "Wood and industrialization: Evidence and hypotheses from the case of Spain, 1860-1935," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 177-186, March.
- Rosenberg, Nathan, 1973. "Innovative Responses to Materials Shortages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 111-18, May.
- Carrion-i-Silvestre, Josep Lluís & Kim, Dukpa & Perron, Pierre, 2009. "Gls-Based Unit Root Tests With Multiple Structural Breaks Under Both The Null And The Alternative Hypotheses," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(06), pages 1754-1792, December.
- Astrid Kander & David I. Stern, 2013. "Economic Growth and the Transition from Traditional to Modern Energy in Sweden," CAMA Working Papers 2013-65, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.