Input-output subsystems and pollution: An application to the service sector and CO<inf>2</inf> emissions in Spain

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The analysis of input-output subsystems provides a useful tool for studying the productive structure of the different sectors of an economy. In this paper we develop this analysis to the study of the CO2 emissions associated to the group of branches of the service sector. The decomposition of the total production of the services subsystem allows us to decompose the CO2 emissions into five different components (own, demand volume, feed-back, internal and spill over components). From the results obtained, we can highlight the different roles played by the different branches of services. Transport activities are the services with the highest level of the direct emissions generated in the production of the sector. These activities are required by the other sectors of the economy to a greater degree than they are for their own final demand. Therefore, the production sold to other sectors causes more emissions than its own final demand. However, in the case of other service activities, direct and indirect emissions related to final demand are much more important, due to the strong pull effect of service activities on other activities of the economy. In this respect, Wholesale and retail trade, Hotels and restaurants, Real estate, renting and business activities, and Public administration services should be highlighted. These services receive scarce attention in the design of policies aimed at reducing emissions, but are notably responsible for the major increase in emissions experienced in recent years. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-914
JournalEcological Economics (Amsterdam)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2009


  • CO emissions 2
  • Input-output analysis
  • Service sector
  • Spain
  • Subsystems


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