The world per capita electricity consumption distribution: Signs of convergence?
Considering residential per capita electricity consumption as one of the most suitable economic welfare indicators, the aim of this paper is to explore worldwide differences on this variable over the period 1980-2007. The paper adds to the standard practice of [sigma] and [beta] convergence analysis by tracking the external shape and time evolution of the entire distribution, applying nonparametric techniques (density functions and stochastic kernels) to a sample of 98 countries. The main finding is that a weak process of electricity consumption convergence has taken place. This reduction of disparities is clearly related to at least three issues: firstly, the rapid economic changes experienced by some developing countries; secondly, the energy conservation policies implemented by most developed countries following the first oil shock; and, thirdly, the growing awareness on energy issues in rich countries. Notwithstanding this, the ergodic distribution on per capita electricity consumption indicates that large cross-country disparities will persist in the long-run.
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