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Structural change and convergence of energy intensity across OECD countries, 1970–2005

Peter Mulder () and Henri de Groot ()

Energy Economics, 2012, vol. 34, issue 6, 1910-1921

Abstract: This paper uses new and unique data derived from a consistent framework of national accounts to compute and evaluate energy intensity developments across 18 OECD countries and 50 sectors over the period 1970–2005. We find that across countries energy intensity levels tend to decrease in most Manufacturing sectors. In the Service sector, energy intensity decreases at a relatively slow rate, with diverse trends across sub-sectors. A decomposition analysis reveals that changes in the sectoral composition of the economy explain a considerable and increasing part of aggregate energy intensity dynamics. A convergence analysis reveals that only after 1995 cross-country variation in aggregate energy intensity levels clearly tends to decrease, driven by a strong and robust trend break in Manufacturing and enhanced convergence in Services. Moreover, we find evidence for the hypothesis that across sectors lagging countries are catching-up with leading countries, with rates of convergence that are on average higher in Services than in Manufacturing. Aggregate convergence patterns are almost exclusively caused by convergence of within-sector energy intensity levels, and not by convergence of the sectoral composition of economies.

Keywords: Energy intensity; Convergence; Decomposition; Sectoral analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 O47 O5 Q43 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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