Department of Business Development and Technology

Citation-based systematic literature review of energy-growth nexus: An overview of the field and content analysis of the top 50 influential papers

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  • Nisar Ahmad
  • ,
  • Reza FathollahZadeh Aghdam
  • ,
  • Irfan Butt, Canada
  • Amjad Naveed

This study is a systematic survey of literature on the energy-growth nexus, which has been carried out with a view to identifying the leading sources of knowledge in the forms of the most influential journals, authors, and papers. This study not only recognizes and classifies the well-known methodologies used in the energy-growth nexus analysis but also reveals intriguing content-based findings, with quantitative measures for the top 50 papers ranked according to the highest average citations per year. This survey is unique in that the process of selecting articles is entirely objective, allowing the research community's opinions to take the lead in the process rather than any subjective judgments of the authors. In this way, we examine 1041 peer-reviewed articles that specifically focused on the energy-growth nexus. We found that, as of the end of 2017, with 200 articles, Energy Policy is the leading journal publishing on this area while Energy Economics, with a total of 25,352 citation counts, holds the highest impact on this field of research. In addition, the most frequently cited article by the scholastic community in terms of average citations per year has been a literature survey conducted by Ozturk (2010). Our study's main conclusion, based on a thorough content analysis, is that the nexus results of previous studies are generally inconclusive, with conflicting policy implications. This is not helpful and to a large extent is due to a lack of an appropriate theory. This, we contend, is essentially a methodological weakness and could be addressed by incorporating an appropriate testable economic/environmental theory.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104642
JournalEnergy Economics
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

    Research areas

  • Citation analysis, Content analysis, Economic growth, Energy consumption, Nexus, Systematic literature survey

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