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International Specialization, Structural Change and the Evolution of Manufacturing Energy Intensity in OECD Countries

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  • Peter Mulder

Abstract

We present new evidence that changes in sector structure explain a considerable and increasing part of Manufacturing energy intensity trends across 19 OECD countries. We show that cross-country convergence of Manufacturing energy intensity levels is caused by efficiency improvements in lagging countries, while undermined by increasing international differences in sector structure. Particularly, we find that efficiency-driven catching-up processes only began to dominate the diverging impact of structural changes after 1995, reversing gradual cross-country divergence of Manufacturing energy intensity levels into rapid convergence. Subsequently, we link sector structure dynamics to changing global production patterns under influence of international trade and specialization. We conclude that increasing trade and market integration helped reducing energy productivity gaps across countries, despite the contribution of increasing specialization to growing cross-country variation in sector structure. These trends are mainly driven by energy-intensive sectors, while various countries specialize in sectors for which they do not have a comparative energy productivity advantage.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Mulder, 2015. "International Specialization, Structural Change and the Evolution of Manufacturing Energy Intensity in OECD Countries," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3).
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:ej36-3-mulder
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    Cited by:

    1. Luigi Grossi & Mauro Mussini, 2017. "Inequality in Energy Intensity in the EU-28: Evidence from a New Decomposition Method," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4).
    2. Parker, Steven & Liddle, Brant, 2017. "Analysing energy productivity dynamics in the OECD manufacturing sector," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 91-97.
    3. Victor Ajayi & David Reiner, 2018. "European Industrial Energy Intensity: The Role of Innovation 1995-2009," Working Papers EPRG 1818, Energy Policy Research Group, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
    4. Parker, Steven & Liddle, Brantley, 2016. "Energy efficiency in the manufacturing sector of the OECD: Analysis of price elasticities," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 38-45.
    5. Leal, Patrícia Alexandra & Marques, António Cardoso & Fuinhas, José Alberto, 2019. "Decoupling economic growth from GHG emissions: Decomposition analysis by sectoral factors for Australia," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 12-26.
    6. Parker, Steven & Liddle, Brantley, 2017. "Economy-wide and manufacturing energy productivity transition paths and club convergence for OECD and non-OECD countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 338-346.
    7. Chen, Zhongfei & Huang, Wanjing & Zheng, Xian, 2019. "The decline in energy intensity: Does financial development matter?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 134(C).
    8. Pappas, Dimitrios & Chalvatzis, Konstantinos J. & Guan, Dabo & Ioannidis, Alexis, 2018. "Energy and carbon intensity: A study on the cross-country industrial shift from China to India and SE Asia," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 225(C), pages 183-194.

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    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General

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