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Explaining value chain differences in MRIO databases through structural path decomposition


  • Anne Owen
  • Richard Wood
  • John Barrett
  • Andrew Evans


Many multiregional input--output (MRIO) databases are used to calculate consumption-based accounts. Results feature in climate policy discussion on emissions reduction responsibilities; yet studies show that outcomes produced by each database differ. This paper compares the emissions associated with value chains from Eora, EXIOBASE, GTAP and WIOD. Structural path analysis identifies the largest paths in each database and the differences in common paths are calculated. For the top 100 value chain paths that contain the largest difference, structural path decomposition is used to identify the contribution each part of the value chain makes towards the difference. The results identify and quantify key flows that are the cause of difference in the databases. From these, we can conclude that key MRIO database construction decisions, such as using the residence or territorial principle for emissions allocation and whether energy spends are reallocated based on physical data, are the major causes of differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Anne Owen & Richard Wood & John Barrett & Andrew Evans, 2016. "Explaining value chain differences in MRIO databases through structural path decomposition," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(2), pages 243-272, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecsysr:v:28:y:2016:i:2:p:243-272
    DOI: 10.1080/09535314.2015.1135309

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Liu, Lan-Cui & Cheng, Lei & Zhao, Lu-Tao & Cao, Ying & Wang, Ce, 2020. "Investigating the significant variation of coal consumption in China in 2002-2017," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 207(C).
    2. Hanaka, Tesshu & Kagawa, Shigemi & Ono, Hirotaka & Kanemoto, Keiichiro, 2017. "Finding environmentally critical transmission sectors, transactions, and paths in global supply chain networks," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 44-52.
    3. Owen, Anne & Scott, Kate & Barrett, John, 2018. "Identifying critical supply chains and final products: An input-output approach to exploring the energy-water-food nexus," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 210(C), pages 632-642.
    4. Manfred Lenzen & Arne Geschke & Muhammad Daaniyall Abd Rahman & Yanyan Xiao & Jacob Fry & Rachel Reyes & Erik Dietzenbacher & Satoshi Inomata & Keiichiro Kanemoto & Bart Los & Daniel Moran & Hagen Sch, 2017. "The Global MRIO Lab – charting the world economy," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 158-186, April.
    5. Zafrilla, Jorge-Enrique & Arce, Guadalupe & Cadarso, María-Ángeles & Córcoles, Carmen & Gómez, Nuria & López, Luis-Antonio & Monsalve, Fabio & Tobarra, María-Ángeles, 2019. "Triple bottom line analysis of the Spanish solar photovoltaic sector: A footprint assessment," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 1-1.
    6. 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.
    7. Pothen, Frank, 2017. "A structural decomposition of global Raw Material Consumption," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 154-165.
    8. Hanspeter Wieland & Stefan Giljum & Nina Eisenmenger & Dominik Wiedenhofer & Martin Bruckner & Anke Schaffartzik & Anne Owen, 2020. "Supply versus use designs of environmental extensions in input–output analysis: Conceptual and empirical implications for the case of energy," Journal of Industrial Ecology, Yale University, vol. 24(3), pages 548-563, June.
    9. Bruno Casella & Richard Bolwijn & Daniel Moran & Keiichiro Kanemoto, . "Improving the analysis of global value chains: the UNCTAD-Eora Database," UNCTAD Transnational Corporations Journal, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    10. Zhou, Xiaoyong & Zhou, Dequn & Wang, Qunwei & Su, Bin, 2019. "How information and communication technology drives carbon emissions: A sector-level analysis for China," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 380-392.
    11. Dietzenbacher, Erik & Kulionis, Viktoras & Capurro, Filippo, 2020. "Measuring the effects of energy transition: A structural decomposition analysis of the change in renewable energy use between 2000 and 2014," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 258(C).

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