Power to the People: Energy in Europe over the Last Five Centuries

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"Power to the People is a work of impressive scholarship, offering extensive and detailed quantitative information—much of which is new or not widely available—with readable explanations of the technical innovations that drove economic performance. It shows how energy use has long been central to Europe's economic growth, but that its role has been neither simple nor uniform."—William M. Cavert, University of Cambridge

"Power to the People is a meaningful contribution to our knowledge of the economic consequences of changes in energy and its use. The book provides a thoughtful and interesting historical approach to a timely question—can we continue to achieve economic growth and high living standards, particularly in poorer or developing countries, while decreasing energy use to reduce environmental impacts?"—Lynne Kiesling, Northwestern University

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Astrid Kander is professor of economic history at Lund University. Paolo Malanima is director of the Institute of Studies on Mediterranean Societies at the National Research Council in Italy. Paul Warde is reader in early modern history at the University of East Anglia and research associate at the Centre for History and Economics, Magdalene College, University of Cambridge.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix
CHAPTER ONE Introduction 1
CHAPTER TWO Definitions and Concepts 17
PART I Pre-Industrial Economies Paolo Malanima 35
CHAPTER THREE Traditional Sources 37
1. Energy in Premodern Societies
2. Organic Sources and Agricultures
3. Non-organic Sources
4. Seven Long-run Propositions
5. Conclusion
CHAPTER FOUR Constraints and Dynamics 81
1. Population and Climate
2. Energy Scarcity
3. Saving Land
4. Saving Labor
5. Conclusion
PART II The First Industrial Revolution Paul Warde 129
CHAPTER FIVE A Modern Energy Regime 131
1. The Take-off of Coal
2. Traditional Sources: Rise but Relative Decline
3. Conclusion
CHAPTER SIX The Coal Development Block 159
1. The Core Innovations
2. The Growth Dynamics of the Coal Development Block
3. The Transport Revolution
CHAPTER SEVEN Energy and Industrial Growth 209
1. Coal and Growth
2. Seven Long-run Propositions
3. Energy Intensity and Economic Structure
4. Conclusion
PART III The Second and Third Industrial Revolutions Astrid Kander 249
CHAPTER EIGHT Energy Transitions in the Twentieth Century 251
1. The Rise of Oil and Electricity
2. Old and New in Energy Regimes
3. Conclusion
CHAPTER NINE Major Development Blocks in the Twentieth Century and Their Impacts on Energy 287
1. The ICE-Oil Block
2. The Electricity Block
3. The ICT Development Block
4. Conclusion
CHAPTER TEN The Role of Energy in Twentieth-Century Economic Growth 333
1. Development Blocks and GDP
2. Seven Long-run Propositions
3. Energy Intensity and Economic Structure
4. Conclusion
CHAPTER ELEVEN Summary and Implications for the Future 366
1. Summing Up the Book
2.Thinking about the Future
3. Some Remarks about the Future
A. The Role of Energy in Growth Accounting 387
B. Decomposing Energy Intensity 1870-1970 395
C. The Impact from the Service Transition on Energy Intensity 402
D. Biased Technical Development 411
References 415
Index 451

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