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How Will Energy Demand Develop in the Developing World?

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  • Catherine Wolfram
  • Orie Shelef
  • Paul J. Gertler

Abstract

Most of the medium-run growth in energy demand is forecast to come from the developing world, which consumed more total units of energy than the developed world in 2007. We argue that the main driver of the growth is likely to be increased incomes among the poor and near-poor. We document that as households come out of poverty and join the middle class, they acquire appliances, such as refrigerators, and vehicles for the first time. These new goods require energy to use and energy to manufacture. The current forecasts for energy demand in the developing world may be understated because they do not accurately capture the dramatic increase in demand associated with poverty reduction.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17747.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
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Publication status: published as Catherine Wolfram & Orie Shelef & Paul Gertler, 2012. "How Will Energy Demand Develop in the Developing World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 119-38, Winter.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17747

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Cited by:
  1. Gerard, Francois, 2013. "What Changes Energy Consumption, and for How Long? New Evidence from the 2001 Brazilian Electricity Crisis," Discussion Papers, Resources For the Future dp-13-06, Resources For the Future.
  2. Chakravarty, Shoibal & Tavoni, Massimo, 2013. "Energy poverty alleviation and climate change mitigation: Is there a trade off?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(S1), pages S67-S73.
  3. Michael Schymura & Andreas Löschel, 2012. "Trade and the Environment: An Application of the WIOD Database," EcoMod2012 3948, EcoMod.
  4. Shoibal Chakravarty & Massimo Tavoni, 2013. "Energy Poverty Alleviation and Climate Change Mitigation: is There a Trade off?," Working Papers, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei 2013.25, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  5. Lucas W. Davis & Alan Fuchs & Paul J. Gertler, 2012. "Cash for Coolers," NBER Working Papers 18044, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lucas Bretschger & Lin Zhang, 2014. "Going beyond tradition: Carbon policy in a high-growth economy: The case of China," CER-ETH Economics working paper series, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich 14/201, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  7. Alem, Yonas & Beyene, Abebe D. & Kohlin, Gunnar & Mekonnen, Alemu, 2013. "Household Fuel Choice in Urban Ethiopia: A Random Effects Multinomial Logit Analysis," Discussion Papers, Resources For the Future dp-13-12-efd, Resources For the Future.
  8. Roger Fouquet, 2013. "Long Run Demand for Energy Services: the Role of Economic and Technological Development," Working Papers, BC3 2013-03, BC3.
  9. Michael Greenstone & B. Kelsey Jack, 2013. "Envirodevonomics: A Research Agenda for a Young Field," NBER Working Papers 19426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Siqi Zheng & Matthew E. Kahn, 2013. "Understanding China's Urban Pollution Dynamics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 731-72, September.
  11. Voigt, Sebastian & De Cian, Enrica & Schymura, Michael & Verdolini, Elena, 2014. "Energy intensity developments in 40 major economies: Structural change or technology improvement?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 47-62.
  12. Boomhower, Judson & Davis, Lucas W., 2014. "A credible approach for measuring inframarginal participation in energy efficiency programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 67-79.
  13. Kenneth Lee & Eric Brewer & Carson Christiano & Francis Meyo & Edward Miguel & Matthew Podolsky & Javier Rosa & Catherine Wolfram, 2014. "Barriers to Electrification for “Under Grid” Households in Rural Kenya," NBER Working Papers 20327, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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