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A structural decomposition of global Raw Material Consumption

Frank Pothen

Ecological Economics, 2017, vol. 141, issue C, 154-165

Abstract: Between 1995 and 2008, the global extraction of biomass, fossil fuels, and minerals grew from 48 to 69 billion metric tons. This study investigates how changing consumption and investment patterns affected the aforementioned increase. A series of Structural Decomposition Analyses at a global level as well as for 40 major economies is conducted. They disentangle the growth of Raw Material Consumption, which measures the extraction of materials necessary to produce a country's final demand. Data is taken from the World Input-Output Database. The results suggest that rising final demand was the predominant driver of growing Raw Material Consumption. Final demand, furthermore, shifted into countries that consume material-intensive goods, in particular due to infrastructure build-up in industrialising nations. The mix of goods in final demand slightly dematerialised. Increasing efficiency in global value chains decelerated the growth of Raw Material Consumption. The results confirm that the secular trends in structural change and technological improvements are insufficient to limit the use of materials.

Keywords: Raw Material Consumption; Material footprint; Structural Decomposition Analysis; Input-output models (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q2 Q3 C67 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Working Paper: A structural decomposition of global raw material consumption (2015) Downloads
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