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Human capital and energy consumption: Evidence from OECD countries

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  • Yao, Yao
  • Ivanovski, Kris
  • Inekwe, John
  • Smyth, Russell

Abstract

We examine the effect of human capital on energy consumption for a panel of OECD economies over the period 1965–2014. Our preferred results, which account for cross-sectional dependence and structural breaks, suggest that a one standard deviation increase in human capital reduces aggregate energy consumption by 15.36%. When we distinguish between clean and dirty energy consumption, we find that human capital generates significant positive externalities for the environment. Specifically, we find that a one standard deviation increase in human capital is associated with a 17.33% decrease in dirty energy consumption and an 85.54% increase in clean energy consumption. Our findings reinforce the social benefits of investing in human capital and suggest a promising avenue for energy conservation without impeding economic growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Yao, Yao & Ivanovski, Kris & Inekwe, John & Smyth, Russell, 2019. "Human capital and energy consumption: Evidence from OECD countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:84:y:2019:i:c:s0140988319303299
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2019.104534
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Human capital; Energy consumption; Cross-section dependence; Panel data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O50 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - General

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