IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/energy/v28y2003i3p219-273.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Exergy, power and work in the US economy, 1900–1998

Author

Listed:
  • Ayres, Robert U
  • Ayres, Leslie W
  • Warr, Benjamin

Abstract

Conventional economic growth theory assumes that technological progress is exogenous and that resource consumption is a consequence, not a cause, of growth. The reality is different and more complex. A ‘growth engine’ is a positive feedback loop involving declining costs of inputs and increasing demand for lower priced outputs, which then drives costs down further, thanks to economies of scale and learning effects. In a competitive environment prices follow. The most important ‘growth engine’ of the first industrial revolution was dependent on coal and steam power. The feedback operated through rapidly declining fossil fuel and mechanical power costs. The advent of electric power, in growing quantities and declining cost, has triggered the development of a whole range of new products and industries, including electric light, radio and television, moving pictures, and the whole modern information sector. The purpose of this paper is to reformulate the idea of the ‘growth engine’ in terms of the service provided by energy inputs, namely ‘useful work’, defined as the product of energy (exergy) inputs multiplied by a conversion efficiency. We attempt here to reconstruct the useful work performed in the US economy during the twentieth century. Some economic implications are indicated very briefly.

Suggested Citation

  • Ayres, Robert U & Ayres, Leslie W & Warr, Benjamin, 2003. "Exergy, power and work in the US economy, 1900–1998," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 219-273.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:28:y:2003:i:3:p:219-273
    DOI: 10.1016/S0360-5442(02)00089-0
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544202000890
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/S0360-5442(02)00089-0?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. J. Daniel Khazzoom, 1987. "Energy Saving Resulting from the Adoption of More Efficient Appliances," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 85-89.
    2. Jorgenson, Dale W, 1996. "Empirical Studies of Depreciation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(1), pages 24-42, January.
    3. Ayres, Robert U. & Ayres, Leslie W. & Martinás, Katalin, 1998. "Exergy, waste accounting, and life-cycle analysis," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 355-363.
    4. Herring, Horace, 1999. "Does energy efficiency save energy? The debate and its consequences," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 209-226, July.
    5. William D. Nordhaus, 1996. "Do Real-Output and Real-Wage Measures Capture Reality? The History of Lighting Suggests Not," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of New Goods, pages 27-70, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. J. Daniel Khazzoom, 1980. "Economic Implications of Mandated Efficiency in Standards for Household Appliances," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 21-40.
    7. Brookes, L. G., 1992. "Energy efficiency and economic fallacies: a reply," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 390-392, May.
    8. Brookes, L. G., 1993. "Energy efficiency fallacies: the debate concluded," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 346-347, April.
    9. Robert Ayres, 1998. "Towards a Disequilibrium Theory of Endogenous Economic Growth," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 289-300, April.
    10. Harty D. Saunders, 1992. "The Khazzoom-Brookes Postulate and Neoclassical Growth," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 131-148.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Sorrell, Steve, 2009. "Jevons' Paradox revisited: The evidence for backfire from improved energy efficiency," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1456-1469, April.
    2. Herring, Horace, 1999. "Does energy efficiency save energy? The debate and its consequences," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 209-226, July.
    3. Schipper, Lee & Grubb, Michael, 2000. "On the rebound? Feedback between energy intensities and energy uses in IEA countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 367-388, June.
    4. Saunders, Harry D., 2014. "Toward a neoclassical theory of sustainable consumption: Eight golden age propositions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 220-232.
    5. Richard B. Howarth, 1997. "Energy Efficiency And Economic Growth," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(4), pages 1-9, October.
    6. A. Greening, Lorna & Greene, David L. & Difiglio, Carmen, 2000. "Energy efficiency and consumption -- the rebound effect -- a survey," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 389-401, June.
    7. Michael Huesemann & Joyce Huesemann, 2008. "Will progress in science and technology avert or accelerate global collapse? A critical analysis and policy recommendations," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 10(6), pages 787-825, December.
    8. Lecca, Patrizio & Swales, Kim & Turner, Karen, 2011. "Rebound Effects from Increased Efficiency in the Use of Energy by UK Households," SIRE Discussion Papers 2011-34, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    9. Ouyang, Xiaoling & Gao, Beiying & Du, Kerui & Du, Gang, 2018. "Industrial sectors' energy rebound effect: An empirical study of Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 408-416.
    10. Turner, Karen, 2009. "Negative rebound and disinvestment effects in response to an improvement in energy efficiency in the UK economy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 648-666, September.
    11. Tugba Somuncu & Christopher Hannum, 2018. "The Rebound Effect of Energy Efficiency Policy in the Presence of Energy Theft," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(12), pages 1-28, December.
    12. Copiello, Sergio & Grillenzoni, Carlo, 2017. "Is the cold the only reason why we heat our homes? Empirical evidence from spatial series data," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 193(C), pages 491-506.
    13. repec:hal:gemwpa:hal-00991732 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Khademvatani, Asgar & Gordon, Daniel V., 2013. "A marginal measure of energy efficiency: The shadow value," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 153-159.
    15. Freire-González, Jaume, 2017. "Evidence of direct and indirect rebound effect in households in EU-27 countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 270-276.
    16. Roger Fouquet & Peter J.G. Pearson, 2012. "The Long Run Demand for Lighting:Elasticities and Rebound Effects in Different Phases of Economic Development," Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    17. Jarke-Neuert, Johannes & Perino, Grischa, 2020. "Energy efficiency promotion backfires under cap-and-trade," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    18. Harry D. Saunders, 2015. "Recent Evidence for Large Rebound: Elucidating the Drivers and their Implications for Climate Change Models," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    19. STEPHEN J. DeCANIO, 1997. "Economic Modeling And The False Tradeoff Between Environmental Protection And Economic Growth," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(4), pages 10-27, October.
    20. Brookes, Leonard, 2000. "Energy efficiency fallacies revisited," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 355-366, June.
    21. Galvin, Ray, 2020. "Who co-opted our energy efficiency gains? A sociology of macro-level rebound effects and US car makers," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 142(C).

    More about this item

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Electrification in Wikipedia English
    2. Productivity-improving technologies in Wikipedia English
    3. Електрификација in Wikipedia Macedonian

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:28:y:2003:i:3:p:219-273. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/energy .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/energy .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.