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Finance, energy and the decoupling: an empirical study

Kovacic, Z., Spanò, M., Lo Piano, S. and Sorman, A. H. (2018) Finance, energy and the decoupling: an empirical study. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 28 (3). pp. 565-590. ISSN 1432-1386

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00191-017-0514-8

Abstract/Summary

This paper investigates the empirical and theoretical basis of the decoupling between energy throughput and economic growth, with a critical view of the use of the decoupling concept as a policy priority. We provide an analysis of the historical trends of the metabolic pattern of European economies over a period of 18 years focusing on the changes in energy throughput and financial assets. The results show that energy consumption per hour of labor has remained constant, suggesting that no significant changes in production processes or technology have taken place in the productive sectors of the economy. The contribution of this paper is to establish a bridge between the economic analysis of financialization and the societal metabolism analysis of the economic process from a biophysical point of view. We argue that this bridge is crucial to draw attention to the biophysical consequences of financialization (a relative decoupling) and critically assess the pertinence of policies aimed at encouraging the decoupling in the context of increasing inequality.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of the Built Environment
No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
ID Code:90476
Publisher:Springer

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