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Industrial Intensification and Energy Embodied in Trade: Long‐Run Energy Perspective of the Planned Economy of Czechoslovakia

Hana Nielsen

Journal of Industrial Ecology, 2018, vol. 22, issue 6, 1436-1450

Abstract: This paper examines the role of foreign trade in the consumption of energy in Czechoslovakia through a bottom‐up approach in accounting for energy embodied in trade with manufactured goods. It provides a unique analysis of annual changes in energy embodied in trade in a country characterized by changing political regimes. On the whole, Czechoslovakia has been a net exporter of energy throughout the twentieth century with an average 12% of domestic energy consumption embodied in exports. The role of central planning was found to have a significant effect on the absolute levels of energy embodied in trade, which reached its peak in 1972, when Czechoslovakia had net exports of embodied energy of 29 gigajoules per capita, well above those of Sweden in 1970 or China in 2013. Increased product specialization with a shift toward heavy industrial goods also had a clear impact on the composition of energy embodied in exports. Despite this development, the energy intensity curve of Czechoslovakia does not change substantially when adjusted for foreign trade.

Date: 2018
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