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How Will Energy Demand Develop in the Developing World?

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  • Catherine Wolfram
  • Orie Shelef
  • Paul J. Gertler

Abstract

Most of the medium-run growth in energy demand is forecast to come from the developing world, which consumed more total units of energy than the developed world in 2007. We argue that the main driver of the growth is likely to be increased incomes among the poor and near-poor. We document that as households come out of poverty and join the middle class, they acquire appliances, such as refrigerators, and vehicles for the first time. These new goods require energy to use and energy to manufacture. The current forecasts for energy demand in the developing world may be understated because they do not accurately capture the dramatic increase in demand associated with poverty reduction.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine Wolfram & Orie Shelef & Paul J. Gertler, 2012. "How Will Energy Demand Develop in the Developing World?," NBER Working Papers 17747, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17747
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q47 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy Forecasting

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