Keywords: economic diversity, energy, emergent properties, economic system, energy intensity, waste intensity
Diversity and other emergent properties of industrial economies
As industrial economies develop over time, they become more complex with more components mutually interacting via additional interconnections. The changes are manifested in properties that emerge over time. Some emergent properties are proposed here and tested with empirical data, where available. Diversity, energy and material intensities, and production capacity are examined and tested at a macro level using data from the states of the USA. All are found to be related to the degree of development represented by Gross State Product. Diversity is related to the number of energy flows through the energy consuming sectors and the allocation of energy use across sectors. Although data is limited for energy consumption by sector the diversity calculated here relates to a number of other physical and economic variables, including the proportion of waste recycled. Other emergent properties of economic systems are suggested and discussed but not tested. The relationships between diversity and energy and waste intensities are illustrated using data from Japan.