Date of Award

Summer 8-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International Studies

Committee Director

Joshua N. Zingher

Committee Member

Matthew DiLorenzo

Committee Member

David D. Selover


Among reasons explaining the importance of studying fossil fuel consumption are: crude oil is a subject of the international commodities market, thus, any fluctuation related to its' availability or price would impact the rest of the World; natural resources like oil, gas, and coal are limited; the extensive use of fossil fuels harms our surroundings, creating many environmental concerns; every human (on average) has been using more energy since 1971 and the trend is expected to continue. The upward trend is not consistent among individual countries. Therefore, the core question of my research is, `Why do some countries consume less Fossil Fuels per Capita (FFCC) than others?` I use a multivariate framework to answer the central question, including three independent (Pump Price for Gasoline, Urbanization, and Fossil Fuel Imports) and two control variables (Latitude and GDP per capita).

My research is built upon three Hypotheses:

  1. In a comparison of countries, higher pump prices are associated with a decrease in FFCC compared to those with lower pump prices;
  2. In a comparison of countries, a greater urban percentage of the population is associated with a decrease in FFCC compared to those with a less urbanized population;
  3. In a comparison of countries, higher fuel imports are associated with a decrease in FFCC compared to those with lower fuel imports.

As a basis of the quantitative method, I use a sample of twenty-eight OECD counties to design and test a model for 2009-2018 (The Model). The output of the multiple regression analysis shows that the Model explains 40% of the variance in the Dependent Variable.

I use a qualitative method to review three case studies (Finland, Canada, and Colombia). Finland’s local conditions make the country almost an ideal candidate to fit the Model. Canada’s local situation concerning FFCC explains why the country does not fit the Model well, despite significant efforts of urbanized communities to pursue energy efficiency. The Colombian government’s continuous interventions prevent the country from fitting the Model and make Colombia an apparent outlier.

Going forward, it is important to develop a worldwide database containing information on taxation and promote energy-related reporting among countries to ensure quantitative data availability.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).