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How Will Energy Demand Develop in the Developing World?

  • Catherine Wolfram
  • Orie Shelef
  • Paul J. Gertler

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17747.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
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Publication status: published as Catherine Wolfram & Orie Shelef & Paul Gertler, 2012. "How Will Energy Demand Develop in the Developing World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 119-38, Winter.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17747
Note: EEE IO
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