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Machines, energy and economic growth: energy capital ratios in Europe and Latin America 1875 - 1970
Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic history.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0970-0850
Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen.
Department of Economics , Public University of Navarra.
2015 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The relationship between energy and capital is one of the most important relationships of modern economic growth. Machines need energy to produce all the goods we enjoy; energy without machinery is useless. However, the great majority of the economic models do not take into account the elasticities of substitution (or complementaries) between these two main variables. Actually, energy is absent in many growth models and discussions on diverging economic development paths. We approach this relevant issue from a new perspective: energy and capital relations during 100 years. We use the latest estimations of capital stock (machinery and equipment) and energy consumption for Latin America and compare them with those of Western Europe. The energy capital ratio (how much energy is used per unit of capital) could be a predictor of economic growth, thus providing some answers about the timing and causes of the different modernisation patterns of these regions and showing us some answers about the long run relationship between energy consumption and capital accumulation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. 1-20 p.
Keyword [en]
Capital stock, energy, energy efficiency, Latin America, Europe
National Category
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-112321OAI: diva2:877196
11th European Historical Economics Society Conference 2015
Available from: 2015-12-06 Created: 2015-12-06 Last updated: 2016-01-08Bibliographically approved

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