IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Divergences in the Long Run Trends in the Price of Energy and of Energy Services

Listed author(s):
  • Roger Fouquet

This paper presents new evidence on the very long run trends in the price of energy and energy services, such as heat, power, transport and light. The paper has two purposes. First, it shows that, in general, there was an upward trend in average energy prices leading up to the Industrial Revolution and a decline afterwards, associated with the shift from traditional energy sources to fossil fuels. At the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, however, average energy prices did rise, reflecting (not rising resource scarcity but) greater value to consumers, as they shifted to energy sources that provided the desired services more efficiently. Second, the paper highlights the dangers of focussing on the price of energy, rather than the price of energy services, when considering the long run. The price of energy ignores the major technological improvements that have occurred and that benefit the consumer. This failure to focus on the services is likely to lead to incorrect estimates of consumer responsiveness to changes in price and income. This paper suggests that the inclusion of service prices and consumption variables would lead to more reliable models of long run energy demand and forecasts of carbon dioxide emissions.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by BC3 in its series Working Papers with number 2010-03.

in new window

Date of creation: Apr 2010
Publication status: Published
Handle: RePEc:bcc:wpaper:2010-03
Contact details of provider: Web page:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bcc:wpaper:2010-03. 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: (Sergio Faria)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.