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Cover Story
Cover Story
After becoming the richest people of all times around the year 2000, inflation-adjusted incomes since shrunk for most households in advanced economies, despite many attempts at reviving growth. Equally, prospects for young people are becoming bleaker, and many are struggling to find jobs matching their expensive educations, to buy a house or build a nest egg.
U.S. household incomes 2000-2014 (census.gov)
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Cover Story
Cover Story
After 250 years of unlimited expansion, energy and natural resources are once again limiting our world. Extracting more is becoming increasingly difficult, making it hard to expand the economy further. This is difficult to grasp for all of us, as our brains are wired to use the recent past for guidance. If that fails, we are getting confused, and angry.
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Blog
Blog
After 10 years of mostly scientific work on understanding our human ecosystem, energy&stuff is IIER's first public outreach project. Given the very negative societal dynamics observed around the world, with hate and blame on the rise, we consider it relevant to instill a sense of reality into the discussion, hopefully supporting a different and more constructive dialogue moving forward.
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Outsourcing - how some countries became (seemingly) efficient
Many advanced economies seem to have become much more energy- and resource-efficient during the past decades, emitting far less greenhouse gases per unit of economic output. Unfortunately, the largest part of those improvements exist only on paper, as globalization and the related de-industrialization have driven the "heavy lifting" elsewhere.
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Cobb-Douglas, a formula and a principle with limits
The drivers of most economic planning, labor, capital and their productivity, are at the core of the concept described by the Cobb-Douglas production function. Unfortunately, this "unlimited" view has hard limits in energy and resource availability that didn't matter during the 20th century.
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Productivity, its components, and its limits
Labor and capital productivity growth was seen as the key driver of growth during the past 250 years. However, we didn't get more productive based on our ingenuity alone, the key drivers were increased energy and resource use with low energy and resource productivity.
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