How Will Energy Demand Develop in the Developing World?

23 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2012 Last revised: 2 Nov 2014

See all articles by Catherine D. Wolfram

Catherine D. Wolfram

University of California, Berkeley - Economic Analysis & Policy Group; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Orie Shelef

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

Paul J. Gertler

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: January 2012

Abstract

Most of the medium-run growth in energy demand is forecast to come from the developing world, which consumed more total units of energy than the developed world in 2007. We argue that the main driver of the growth is likely to be increased incomes among the poor and near-poor. We document that as households come out of poverty and join the middle class, they acquire appliances, such as refrigerators, and vehicles for the first time. These new goods require energy to use and energy to manufacture. The current forecasts for energy demand in the developing world may be understated because they do not accurately capture the dramatic increase in demand associated with poverty reduction.

Suggested Citation

Wolfram, Catherine D. and Shelef, Orie and Gertler, Paul J., How Will Energy Demand Develop in the Developing World? (January 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w17747, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1985080

Catherine D. Wolfram (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Economic Analysis & Policy Group ( email )

Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Orie Shelef

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Paul J. Gertler

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
510-642-1418 (Phone)
510-642-4700 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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