Institutional Size

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


This chapter tests the implicit neoclassical assumption that large institutions are not important for growth. The linkage between institutional size and growth is tested by comparing changes in both corporate and governmental employment concentration with the growth of energy consumption (which is used as a metric of biophysical scale). Contrary to the neoclassical assumption, on both the national and international level, the employment concentration of large institutions is found to be correlated with growth. To explain these results, the following hypothesis is proposed: The expansion of hierarchy (as embodied in large, hierarchical institutions) plays an essential role in facilitating the growth of energy consumption. Anthropological evidence supporting this hypothesis is discussed, as well as the implications of this hypothesis for economic theory.


Large Firm Ultimatum Game Government Size Social Complexity Large Institution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© The Author(s) - SpringerBriefs 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Environmental StudiesYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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