Recent Progress in Assessment of Resource Efficiency and Environmental Impacts Embodied in Trade: An Introduction to this Special Issue
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Industrial Ecology. 2018, 22 (3), 489-501. 10.1111/jiec.12736
This paper serves as an introduction to this special issue on the use of multiregional input‐output modeling in assessments of natural resource use and resource use efficiency. Due to globalization, growth in trade has outpaced growth in global gross domestic product (GDP). As a consequence, impacts of consumption of a country increasingly take place abroad. Various methods have been developed to perform so‐called footprint analyses. We argue that global multiregional input‐output (GMRIO) analysis has the largest potential to provide a consistent accounting framework to calculate a variety of different footprint indicators. The state of the art in GMRIO has, however, various shortcomings, such as limited sector and regional detail and incomplete extensions. The work presented in this special issue addresses a number of such problems and how to possibly overcome them, focusing on the construction of a new GMRIO database (EXIOBASE V3). This database includes long time series in both current and constant prices, a high level of product and sector detail, a physical representation of the world economy, and allows analyzing which footprints out of the many possible indicators provide most information for policy making. Various options for empirical analyses are presented in this special issue. Finally, we analyze how GMRIOs can be further standardized and gradually moved from the scientific to the official statistical domain.