This paper aims to investigate whether improvement in human capital can foster energy conservation by reducing the energy consumption in India using annual data from 1980 to 2014. Further, this study examines the relationship between human capital and various forms of energy consumption such as electricity, coal, natural gas, hydrocarbon gas and petroleum consumption.Design/methodology/approachTo attain the objective, the study investigates this relation through the auto-regressive distributed lag model (ARDL) technique to find a long-run and short-run relationship. Second, to check the robustness of the results, the authors use alternative econometric methods such as dynamic ordinary least squares and fully modified dynamic ordinary least squares.FindingsThe results reveal a negative relationship between human capital and energy consumption, which implies that improvement in human capital lowers the energy consumption and various forms energy consumption, except for petroleum consumption. The results derived from ARDL show that there exists a long-run and short-run association between human capital and energy consumption. The results are consistent across the econometric techniques.Practical implicationsBecause G20 countries including India aim at reducing carbon emission to a certain level, this study provides an insight that by emphasizing on human capital, India can reduce energy consumption, which would foster energy conservation.Originality/valueTo the best of the authors’ knowledge, this the first study in India which attempts to examine the effect of human capital on energy consumption and its various forms.
International Journal of Energy Sector Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 15, 2019
Keywords: Human capital; ARDL; Energy consumption; DOLS; FMOLS; Structural breaks test