Trends, Investment Behaviour and Policy Design
Edited by Raymond J.G.M. Florax, Henri L.F. de Groot and Peter Mulder
Chapter 2: A Spatial Perspective on Global Energy Productivity Trends
Peter Mulder, Raymond J.G.M. Florax and Henri L.F. de Groot 1 INTRODUCTION By way of further introducing the theme of this book, this chapter presents a bird’s eye view on cross-country differences in energy productivity. We define energy productivity as the ratio of output measured as gross domestic product (GDP) to energy input, which is by definition equivalent to the inverse of energy intensity. Differences in energy productivity are caused by differences across countries in the level of technological development, the sectoral composition of an economy, factor input ratios, (relative) factor prices or the fuel mix (Berndt, 1978; Jorgenson, 1984; Schipper and Meyers, 1992). Over time these differences may change as the result of, among others, technological change, factor accumulation and (relative) factor price changes, which in turn are facilitated by, for example, trade flows, foreign direct investment (FDI), market conditions and government policies. Obviously, many of these economic indicators have a clear spatial or geographical dimension, which implies that spatial effects are potentially important in explaining spatial and temporal energy productivity dynamics across countries. The aim of this chapter is twofold. First, we outline the main historical trends in energy productivity dynamics across countries as a way to further introduce several key issues addressed in this book. What do we know about cross-country energy consumption, in per capita terms as well as per unit of output? What have been historical rates of energy productivity improvement in different parts of the world? To what extent do world regions differ in...
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