• Blair FixEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Energy book series (BRIEFSENERGY)


This chapter investigates the implicit neoclassical assumption that distribution is unrelated to growth. This assumption is tested by investigating the relation between the growth of useful work (a biophysical measure of scale) and three different types of distribution: functional, debtor/creditor, and personal. In all three cases, the neoclassical distribution assumption is contradicted by empirical evidence. Instead, changes in the level of profit, the debt-to-GDP ratio, and the income share of the top 10 % are all found to be fundamentally connected to the growth of useful work. These results also provide empirical evidence that casts doubt on neoclassical exogenous money theory (in which debt plays no role in the creation of money) and trickle-down theory (which hypothesizes that an increase in income inequality should be beneficial to growth). The implication of this evidence is that a future energy contraction will likely exacerbate existing distributional issues.


Income Inequality Money Supply Saving Rate Distributional Issue Income Share 
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© The Author(s) - SpringerBriefs 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Environmental StudiesYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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