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Quantifying the impact of coal on global economic growth and energy productivity in the early 21st century

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  • Tarek Atallah
  • Jorge Blazquez

Abstract

Two intriguing circumstances have characterized the behavior of energy markets in the first years of 21st Century: a sharp increase in oil prices without a clear impact on real economic activity and a relative stagnation of energy productivity after 30 years of continuous improvement. This paper uses a standard macroeconomic production function to show that these two circumstances are consistent with sharp global increase in coal production and consumption. Our results suggest that the strong shift in coal production in the period 2000-2007 can explain why the sharp increase in oil prices did not impact negatively global activity and a relative stagnation in energy productivity. In addition, the paper also highlights the shift in the energy mix towards coal and natural gas and alerts that these fuels, and not only crude oil, can be sources of macroeconomic shocks in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Tarek Atallah & Jorge Blazquez, 2015. "Quantifying the impact of coal on global economic growth and energy productivity in the early 21st century," ECONOMICS AND POLICY OF ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2015(2), pages 93-106.
  • Handle: RePEc:fan:efeefe:v:html10.3280/efe2015-002007
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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