From Wood to Coal May Well Be from Malthus to Solow

20 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2014

See all articles by Egemen Eren

Egemen Eren

Bank for International Settlements (BIS) - Monetary and Economic Department

Daniel Garcia-Macia

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - European Department

Date Written: July 31, 2013

Abstract

Why did the Industrial Revolution happen in England and at that time, but not somewhere else and around a different time? By using an endogenous growth model of directed technical change and natural resources, we provide an explanation of the Industrial Revolution as a transition from wood to coal as the main source of energy. We calibrate the model to historical data on energy uses and growth in England. Switching to the wood and coal stocks of France, the model matches the income gap between the two countries in 1600 and slightly overpredicts the gap in their 1600-1900 growth rates.

Keywords: Industrial Revolution, Coal, Energy Transitions, Directed Technical Change

JEL Classification: N13, N73, O33, Q43

Suggested Citation

Eren, Egemen and Garcia-Macia, Daniel, From Wood to Coal May Well Be from Malthus to Solow (July 31, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2407255 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2407255

Egemen Eren (Contact Author)

Bank for International Settlements (BIS) - Monetary and Economic Department ( email )

Centralbahnplatz 2
CH-4002 Basel
Switzerland

Daniel Garcia-Macia

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - European Department ( email )

700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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