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Energy consumption, human well-being and economic development in central and eastern European nations: A cautionary tale of sustainability

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  • Jorgenson, Andrew K.
  • Alekseyko, Alina
  • Giedraitis, Vincentas

Abstract

Sustainability is fundamentally a challenge of tradeoffs. In order to improve human well-being through economic development we consume nonrenewable energy and other natural resources, relying on a broad range of ecosystem services. Enhancing sustainability requires reducing the “energy intensity of human well-being (EIWB)”: the amount of energy used per unit of human well-being. In this study we employ longitudinal analysis techniques to assess the temporally dynamic relationship between EIWB and economic development for a sample of 12 Central and Eastern European (CEE) nations for the 1992 to 2010 period. These are nations that have recently transitioned, which is still an ongoing process, from socialist command economies to market demand economies. During this ongoing transition, many of them have experienced declines in energy intensity, coupled with increased energy efficiency, while human well-being has improved considerably. The results of the analysis indicate that the relationship between EIWB and economic growth in CEE nations is complex and has changed dramatically through time. Of particular importance, the later years of the study exhibit an increasingly sustainable relationship between EIWB and economic development. The findings point to future possibilities for relatively more harmonious relationships between development, human well-being, and the natural environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Jorgenson, Andrew K. & Alekseyko, Alina & Giedraitis, Vincentas, 2014. "Energy consumption, human well-being and economic development in central and eastern European nations: A cautionary tale of sustainability," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 419-427.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:66:y:2014:i:c:p:419-427
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.11.020
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eco:journ2:2018-01-28 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Gralla, Fabienne & Abson, David J. & Møller, Anders P. & Lang, Daniel J. & von Wehrden, Henrik, 2017. "Energy transitions and national development indicators: A global review of nuclear energy production," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 1251-1265.
    3. Yu, Tiffany Hui-Kuang & Huang, Meng-Chen & Huarng, Kun-Huang, 2016. "Causal complexity of economic development by energy consumption," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 2271-2276.
    4. Sweidan, Osama D. & Alwaked, Ahmed A., 2016. "Economic development and the energy intensity of human well-being: Evidence from the GCC countries," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 1363-1369.
    5. Swati Sinha Babu & Soumyendra Datta, 2015. "Revisiting the link between socio-economic development and environmental status indicators—focus on panel data," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 567-586, June.
    6. repec:eee:rensus:v:81:y:2018:i:p1:p:768-774 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Muhammad Azam & Faisal Khan & Khalid Zaman & Amran Md. Rasli, 2016. "Military Expenditures and Unemployment Nexus for Selected South Asian Countries," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 1103-1117, July.
    8. repec:eee:rensus:v:78:y:2017:i:c:p:597-613 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Andrew Jorgenson, 2015. "Inequality and the carbon intensity of human well-being," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 5(3), pages 277-282, September.

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