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Prof. Erik Dietzenbacher elected president of International Input-Output Association

14 January 2013

FEB professor Erik Dietzenbacher has been elected president of the International Input Output-Association ( IIOA ) for a three-year term. This international professional association of researchers and statisticians focuses on theoretical and empirical research into input-output data and analyses, at a regional, national or global level.

The growing importance of global data analyses is evident. In current trade, simple import and export statistics do not tell the whole story anymore. Or take environmental issues: producing metal in Russia – for example- generates a lot of CO2, but some of that metal ends up in German cars, sold in Belgium. In that case, part of the Russian emissions are due to Belgian consumers.

Erik Dietzenbacher

Dietzenbacher is full professor of interindustry economics at FEB. He is also the director of SOM’s research programme International Economics, Business & Managementand was co-ordinator of the EU FP7 funded project WIOD. Upto his election, Dietzenbacher has been vice-president of the IIOA for three years.

Working with new global databases
‘The IIOA has a world-wide membership of about 400 scientists and professionals’, says Dietzenbacher. ‘Input-output analyses have been applied to all kinds of topics. Interest in input-output has been growing over the years. One of the reasons is that several groups of researchers in the world (including the partners in our own WIOD project) have spent a lot of time in constructing global databases that can answer important issues.’

Simple statistics don’t tell the story
‘For example, it is well known that simple import and export statistics do not tell the whole story anymore, now that trade in intermediate products has become so important. Using the ordinary trade statistics would lead to double counting. The solution is given by global value or supply chains that measure for example how much Dutch labor finally ends up in the consumption of US households. Using global input-output tables allow us to make the calculations.’

Greenhouse gass footprints
‘Another important application that requires such global tables deals with environmental issues. Greenhouse gases are global pollutants which means that it hurts us all, no matter where they are emitted to air. Therefore environmental scientists are changing their viewpoint. Instead of measuring how much GHG a country emits, the focus is on how much GHG the consumers of a country are responsible for.

For example, metal smelting generates a lot of CO2 and some of the metal that is smelted in Russia ends up in German cars that are bought by consumers in Belgium. In that case, part of the Russian GHG emissions are due to Belgian consumers. This consumption-based accounting view is at the basis of the so-called GHG footprints and their calculation requires global input-output tables.’

The IIOA was founded in 1988, growing out of an informal world-wide network of economists, government officials, engineers and managers with interests in input-output analysis. As research in input-output analysis progressed, new ideas and information were exchanged at international conferences, and it was decided to form the IIOA and its journal Economic Systems Research . ‘Groningen is and has been an important centre in the field of input-output. Since 1994, the editor of the journal has been affiliated in Groningen: Jan Oosterhaven, Bart Los and myself. In addition, we have been active in organizing conferences all over the world, Jan has been president in the period 2007-2009, and we have had a considerable number of PhD students.’

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Prof.dr. Erik Dietzenbacher

Last modified:05 February 2018 10.45 a.m.

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