A meta-analysis investigation of the direction of the energy-GDP causal relationship: implications for the growth-degrowth dialogue


Panos Kalimeris, Clive Richardson, Kostas Bithas

Journal or Book Title: Journal of Cleaner Production

Keywords: Energy scarcity; Economic growth; Granger causality; Rough set data analysis; Multinomial logistic regression; Degrowth

Volume/Issue: 67

Page Number(s): 1-13

Year Published: 2014


The complex relation between energy use and the economic process has long attracted attention. Issues

such as the scarcity of energy resources, energy theory of value, degrowth and a-growth approaches are

closely related to the relationship between energy and development. The present study traces the implications of the Energy-GDP causality dialogue for the context of the growth-degrowth debate, where

the energy-development link plays a decisive role. In that context, the present research investigates the

possible existence of a fundamental “macro” direction of causality between energy use and economic

growth that is not influenced by study-specific characteristics and events. Towards this objective, we

perform a meta-analysis that takes into account 158 studies on causality between energy and GDP,

covering the period 1978e2011. This is the first time, to our knowledge, that meta-analysis has been

applied to investigate the direction of the energy and GDP causal relationship. The meta-analysis results

neither support the existence of a fundamental “macro” direction, nor the so-called “neutrality hypothesis

(E s GDP)” in the causal relationship between energy consumption and economic growth.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.12.040

Type of Publication: Journal Article