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Regional determinants of energy intensity in Japan: the impact of population density

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  • Akihiro Otsuka

    () (Yokohama City University)

  • Mika Goto

    () (Tokyo Institute of Technology)

Abstract

The Japanese economy must contend with environmental restrictions; hence, both controlling greenhouse gas emissions by improving energy intensity and boosting national and regional economic growth are important policy goals. Given the potential conflicts between these goals, this study investigates the current energy consumption levels in the Japanese regional economy to determine the factors contributing to improvements in energy intensity. We conduct an empirical analysis using econometric methods to examine whether population density, which is considered a driving force of productivity improvements, contributes to improved energy intensity. The analysis results reveal that population density influences energy intensity improvements. However, the impact differs across regions. In large metropolitan areas, population agglomeration has improved energy intensity, whereas in rural areas, population dispersion has worsened it. The policy implication from this study is that population agglomeration should be encouraged in each region to improve energy intensity, which could protect the environment along with future economic growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Akihiro Otsuka & Mika Goto, 2018. "Regional determinants of energy intensity in Japan: the impact of population density," Asia-Pacific Journal of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 257-278, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:apjors:v:2:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s41685-017-0045-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s41685-017-0045-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Energy intensity; Population density; Agglomeration; Japanese regions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General

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