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The role of outsourcing in driving global carbon emissions

Author

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  • Arunima Malik
  • Jun Lan

Abstract

Globalisation has narrowed the gap between producers and consumers of goods and services. The linkages between international trade and carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions have started to be recognised, yet the extent of outsourcing of emissions across nations is unknown. Filling this gap in knowledge is critical for designing effective policy mechanisms for assigning responsibility for reductions in emissions. Here we present a structural decomposition analysis of global trends in outsourcing of emissions from 1990 to 2010 for 186 individual countries. To this end, we disaggregate total CO 2 emissions for each country into contributions from the domestic economy and international trade. This allows us to unveil outsourcing trends for all nations confirming a world-wide shifting of emissions-intensive production across borders. We categorise nations into “outsourcers” -- countries that outsource carbon-intensive production to so-called contractor nations. Our detailed assessment of the commodity content of global outsourcing flows reveals interesting insights about the trade of carbon-intensive commodities.

Suggested Citation

  • Arunima Malik & Jun Lan, 2016. "The role of outsourcing in driving global carbon emissions," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(2), pages 168-182, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecsysr:v:28:y:2016:i:2:p:168-182
    DOI: 10.1080/09535314.2016.1172475
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Jiang, Xuemei & Guan, Dabo, 2016. "Determinants of global CO2 emissions growth," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 1132-1141.
    3. Croner, Daniel & Koller, Wolfgang & Mahlberg, Bernhard, 2018. "Economic drivers of greenhouse gas-emissions in small open economies: A hierarchical structural decomposition analysis," MPRA Paper 85755, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. repec:eee:appene:v:235:y:2019:i:c:p:186-203 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Duan, Yuwan & Jiang, Xuemei, 2017. "Temporal Change of China's Pollution Terms of Trade and its Determinants," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 31-44.
    6. repec:eee:energy:v:147:y:2018:i:c:p:858-875 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Pablo-Romero, María del P. & Sánchez-Braza, Antonio, 2017. "The changing of the relationships between carbon footprints and final demand: Panel data evidence for 40 major countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 8-20.
    8. Xiao, Yanyan & Norris, Catherine Benoît & Lenzen, Manfred & Norris, Gregory & Murray, Joy, 2017. "How Social Footprints of Nations Can Assist in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 55-65.
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    10. repec:eee:enepol:v:109:y:2017:i:c:p:734-746 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:taf:ecsysr:v:30:y:2018:i:1:p:1-17 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Wang, H. & Ang, B.W. & Su, Bin, 2017. "Multiplicative structural decomposition analysis of energy and emission intensities: Some methodological issues," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 47-63.
    13. repec:eee:eneeco:v:72:y:2018:i:c:p:307-312 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Meng, Bo & Wang, Jianguo & Andrew, Robbie & Xiao, Hao & Xue, Jinjun & Peters, Glen P., 2017. "Spatial spillover effects in determining China's regional CO2 emissions growth: 2007–2010," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 161-173.
    15. repec:eee:ecolec:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:154-165 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. repec:eee:ecolec:v:139:y:2017:i:c:p:102-114 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Kaltenegger, Oliver & Löschel, Andreas & Pothen, Frank, 2017. "The effect of globalisation on energy footprints: Disentangling the links of global value chains," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(S1), pages 148-168.
    18. Pothen, Frank, 2017. "A structural decomposition of global Raw Material Consumption," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 154-165.

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