NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Back to the Future of Green Powered Economies

Juan Moreno Cruz, M. Scott Taylor

NBER Working Paper No. 18236
Issued in July 2012
NBER Program(s):   EEE

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the concept of power density [Watts/m²] into economics. By introducing an explicit spatial structure into a simple general equilibrium model we are able to show how the power density of available energy resources determines the extent of energy exploitation, the density of urban agglomerations, and the peak level of income per capita. Using a simple Malthusian model to sort population across geographic space we demonstrate how the density of available energy supplies creates density in energy demands by agglomerating economic activity. We label this result the density-creates-density hypothesis and evaluate it using data from pre and post fossil-fuel England from 1086 to 1801.

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Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18236

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