IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Approximation And Regional Aggregation In Multi-Regional Input-Output Analysis For National Carbon Footprint Accounting


  • Robbie Andrew
  • Glen Peters
  • James Lennox


Multi-regional input-output (MRIO) analysis has been widely used to quantify the global environmental impacts (e.g. energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, water use) embodied in consumption and international trade. Often, analysts have used approximations to a full global MRIO model; however, without access to a full MRIO model the approximation errors are unknown. In this paper we use an MRIO model based on the dataset provided by the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) to quantify the errors introduced by various approximations of the full MRIO model. We find that emissions embodied in imports contribute an average 40% of the total emissions embodied in countries' final demands. For the emissions embodied in imports, we find: (a) that the unidirectional trade model gives a good approximation to the full MRIO model when the number of regions in the model is small; (b) that including only the most important trade partner in terms of emissions embodied in imports can substantially improve the accuracy of estimates; and (c) that a world-average input-output table often provides a good representation of the aggregate 'rest of world' economy. Finally, assuming that imports are produced with domestic technology (Domestic Technology Assumption, DTA) in an MRIO model can introduce significant errors and requires careful validation before results are used. However, the DTA generally produces better estimates than ignoring imports altogether.

Suggested Citation

  • Robbie Andrew & Glen Peters & James Lennox, 2009. "Approximation And Regional Aggregation In Multi-Regional Input-Output Analysis For National Carbon Footprint Accounting," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(3), pages 311-335.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecsysr:v:21:y:2009:i:3:p:311-335
    DOI: 10.1080/09535310903541751

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:ecsysr:v:21:y:2009:i:3:p:311-335. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Chris Longhurst (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.