Not only subterranean forests: Wood consumption and economic development in Britain (1850–1938)
This 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.
If 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.
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- 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.
- 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.
- Donggyu Sul & Peter C. B. Phillips & Chi-Young Choi, 2005.
"Prewhitening Bias in HAC Estimation,"
Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics,
Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 67(4), pages 517-546, 08.
- Sul, Donggyu & Phillips, Peter & Choi, Chi-Young, 2003. "Prewhitening Bias in HAC Estimation," Working Papers 141, Department of Economics, The University of Auckland.
- 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.
- Donggyu Sul & Peter C.B. Phillips & Choi, Chi-Young, 2003. "Prewhitening Bias in HAC Estimation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1436, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Malanima, Paolo, 2006. "Energy crisis and growth 1650 1850: the European deviation in a comparative perspective," Journal of Global History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 101-121, March.
- Erb, Karl-Heinz & Krausmann, Fridolin & Lucht, Wolfgang & Haberl, Helmut, 2009. "Embodied HANPP: Mapping the spatial disconnect between global biomass production and consumption," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 328-334, December.
- 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.
- Kander, Astrid & Malanima, Paolo & Warde, Paul, 2008. "Energy transitions in Europe: 1600-2000," Papers in Innovation Studies 2008/12, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
- Gingrich, Simone, 2011. "Foreign trade and early industrialisation in the Habsburg Monarchy and the United Kingdom -- Two extremes in comparison," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(7), pages 1280-1288, May.
- Rosenberg, Nathan, 1973. "Innovative Responses to Materials Shortages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 111-118, May.
- Krausmann, Fridolin & Haberl, Helmut, 2002. "The process of industrialization from the perspective of energetic metabolism: Socioeconomic energy flows in Austria 1830-1995," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 177-201, May.
- Krausmann, Fridolin & Gingrich, Simone & Eisenmenger, Nina & Erb, Karl-Heinz & Haberl, Helmut & Fischer-Kowalski, Marina, 2009. "Growth in global materials use, GDP and population during the 20th century," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(10), pages 2696-2705, August.
- Steinberger, Julia K. & Krausmann, Fridolin & Eisenmenger, Nina, 2010. "Global patterns of materials use: A socioeconomic and geophysical analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 1148-1158, March.
- Allen,Robert C., 2009. "The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521868273, September.
- Allen,Robert C., 2009. "The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521687850, August.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cohen, Avi J., 1987. "Factor substitution and induced innovation in north American kraft pulping: 1914-1940," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 197-217, April.
- Wrigley,E. A., 2010. "Energy and the English Industrial Revolution," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521766937, August.
- 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.
- Wrigley,E. A., 2010. "Energy and the English Industrial Revolution," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521131858, August.
- Musel, Annabella, 2009. "Human appropriation of net primary production in the United Kingdom, 1800-2000: Changes in society's impact on ecological energy flows during the agrarian-industrial transition," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 270-281, December.
- Haberl, Helmut & Erb, Karl-Heinz & Krausmann, Fridolin, 2001. "How to calculate and interpret ecological footprints for long periods of time: the case of Austria 1926-1995," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 25-45, July. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)