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Power to the PeopleEnergy in Europe over the Last Five Centuries$
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Astrid Kander, Paolo Malanima, and Paul Warde

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691143620

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691143620.001.0001

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The Role of Energy in Twentieth-Century Economic Growth

The Role of Energy in Twentieth-Century Economic Growth

(p.333) Chapter Ten The Role of Energy in Twentieth-Century Economic Growth
Power to the People

Malanima Paolo

Astrid Kander

Paul Warde

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the role of energy in the economic growth of twentieth-century Europe. It considers the interrelationships of factors of production in order to identify the general features of a shared experience of growth, rather than to illuminate the local differences. The chapter first explains how development blocks contributed to GDP growth before discussing seven long-run propositions, including the strong growth of capital stock and catch-up with the leader of capital–GDP ratios; machinery increased more than GDP, labor, and other capital; and falling and converging energy intensity in the twentieth century. The chapter concludes with an overview of the link between energy intensity and economic structure. It argues that it was the third industrial revolution that was behind most of the increasing economic efficiency of energy consumption after the 1970s.

Keywords:   energy, economic growth, Europe, energy consumption, development blocks, GDP, energy intensity, economic structure, industrial revolution, economic efficiency

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