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Keywords:

  • carbon dioxide (CO2);
  • consumption;
  • data envelopment analysis (DEA);
  • environmental indicators;
  • life-cycle thinking;
  • structural economics

Summary

Input-output modeling is a useful tool for tracing environmental impacts of consumption. Because it includes impacts originating from production layers of infinite order (capturing the entire economy), input-output modeling is highly relevant for studies operating in a life-cycle context. In this article we show how the input-output approach can be used to enumerate the problem of sustainable consumption. Based on a literature survey including research done by the authors we present measures of the emissions of carbon dioxide at different spatial levels: nation, city, and household. Further, we take more environmental effects into account and introduce the concept of environmental efficiency by combining input-output modeling and data envelopment analysis. Finally, we discuss the policy relevance of the different measures. The article demonstrates that input-output modeling has a wide range of life-cycle oriented applications when combined with other data sources such as detailed trade statistics, foreign input-output and environmental statistics, and household expenditure data.