On the Interpretation and Measurement of Technology-Adjusted Emissions Embodied in Trade

Aldy Darwili, Enno Schröder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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We propose a new method for standardizing the production technology at the world average level and derive interpretations for the resulting carbon emission concepts. The technology-adjusted emission balance measures net weak carbon leakage defined as the difference between the foreign emissions avoided by exports and the foreign emissions generated by imports. We use global multi-regional input–output tables to document the variable’s spatio-temporal variation for 49 economies between 1995 and 2015. There is a positive cross-country correlation between net leakage and per-capita income. Changes in net leakage are generally small and do not account for country-specific emission trends, that is, domestic emission decreases were not offset by foreign emission increases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-98
Number of pages34
JournalEnvironmental and Resource Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Carbon
  • Climate change
  • CO2
  • Decoupling
  • Displacement
  • Emissions
  • Global value chains
  • Input–output
  • Leakage
  • Offshoring
  • Outsourcing
  • Trade


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