[Journal:] PLoS ONE [Volume:] 12 [Issue:] 2 [Pages:] 1-22
Why do institutions grow? Despite nearly a century of scientific effort, there remains little consensus on this topic. This paper offers a new approach that focuses on energy consumption. A systematic relation exists between institution size and energy consumption per capita: as energy consumption increases, institutions become larger. I hypothesize that this relation results from the interplay between technological scale and human biological limitations. I also show how a simple stochastic model can be used to link energy consumption with firm dynamics.
complexity energy human biology institutions hierarchy technology