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A Handbook of Industrial Ecology

Edited by Robert U. Ayres and Leslie W. Ayres

Industrial ecology is coming of age and this superb book brings together leading scholars to present a state-of-the-art overviews of the subject. Each part of the book comprehensively covers the following issues in a systematic style: the goals and achievements of industrial ecology and the history of the field; methodology, covering the main approaches to analysis and assessment; economics and industrial ecology; industrial ecology at the national/regional level; industrial ecology at the sectoral/materials level; and applications and policy implications.
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Chapter 10: Physical input–output accounting

Gunter Strassert


Gunter Strassert A physical input–output table (PIOT) is a macroeconomic activity-based physical accounting system. A PIOT comprises not only the product flow of the traditional input–output table in physical units, but also material flows between the natural environment and the economy. Complete material balances can therefore be generated for the various economic activities (Stahmer, Kuhn and Braun 1997, p.1). Physical input–output accounting has many roots. Two main analytical strata can be distinguished; that is, production theory and national accounting. The former stratum is represented by Georgescu-Roegen (1971, ch. IX; 1979; 1984, p.28) and Perrings (1987, pt I), both developing the physical economy–environment system, and the latter by Stahmer (1988, 1993), United Nations (1993a, 1993b), Radermacher and Stahmer (1998), Stahmer, Kuhn and Braun (1996, 1997, 1998). Both were interlinked and complemented by Daly (1968), Katterl and Kratena (19901) and Strassert (1993, 1997, 2000a, 2000b, 2000d, 2001a). Physical input–output accounting was preceded by the concepts of materials/energy balance (Kneese, Ayres and d’Arge 1970; Ayres 1978, 1993a) and material flow accounting (MFA): see Chapter 14. A first complete PIOT, that is, a macroeconomic material flow account in the form of an input–output table, was presented for Germany 1990 (‘Old Länder’) by the Federal Statistical Office (see Stahmer, Kuhn and Braun 1996, 1997, 1998). As statistical units of materials, tons are used. The original matrix comprises 58 production activities of the conventional monetary input–output accounting, plus an additional sector for external environmental protection services. In...

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