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  • Juan Moreno Cruz
  • M. Scott Taylor

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the concept of power density [Watts/m²] into economics. By introducing an explicit spatial structure into a simple general equilibrium model we are able to show how the power density of available energy resources determines the extent of energy exploitation, the density of urban agglomerations, and the peak level of income per capita. Using a simple Malthusian model to sort population across geographic space we demonstrate how the density of available energy supplies creates density in energy demands by agglomerating economic activity. We label this result the density-creates-density hypothesis and evaluate it using data from pre and post fossil-fuel England from 1086 to 1801.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18236.

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Date of creation: Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18236

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  1. Henderson, J V, 1974. "The Sizes and Types of Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(4), pages 640-56, September.
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  5. Samuelson, Paul A, 1983. "Thunen at Two Hundred," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 1468-88, December.
  6. Gregory Clark, 2005. "The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1209-2004," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1307-1340, December.
  7. Allen, Robert C., 2011. "Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199596652, Octomber.
  8. Rauch, James E, 1993. "Does History Matter Only When It Matters Little? The Case of City-Industry Location," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 843-67, August.
  9. James R. Markusen, 1990. "Micro-foundations of External Economies," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(3), pages 495-508, August.
  10. James A. Galloway & Derek Keene & Margaret Murphy, 1996. "Fuelling the city: production and distribution of firewood and fuel in London's region, 1290-1400," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 49(3), pages 447-472, 08.
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Cited by:
  1. Juan Moreno Cruz & M. Scott Taylor, 2013. "A Spatial Approach to Energy Economics," NBER Working Papers 18908, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. repec:clg:wpaper:2013-07 is not listed on IDEAS

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