Accounting for the Material Stock of Nations

14 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2014

See all articles by Tomer Fishman

Tomer Fishman

Nagoya University

Heinz Schandl

Government of the Commonwealth of Australia - CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)

Hiroki Tanikawa

Nagoya University - Graduate School of Economics

Paul Walker

Government of the Commonwealth of Australia - CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)

Fridolin Krausmann

Alpen Adria University - Institute of Social Ecology

Date Written: June 2014

Abstract

National material stock (MS) accounts have been a neglected field of analysis in industrial ecology, possibly because of the difficulty in establishing such accounts. In this research, we propose a novel method to model national MS based on historical material flow data. This enables us to avoid the laborious data work involved with bottom‐up accounts for stocks and to arrive at plausible levels of stock accumulation for nations. We apply the method for the United States and Japan to establish a proof of concept for two very different cases of industrial development. Looking at a period of 75 years (1930–2005), we find that per capita MS has been much higher in the United States for the entire period, but that Japan has experienced much higher growth rates throughout, in line with Japan's late industrial development. By 2005, however, both Japan and the United States arrive at a very similar level of national MS of 310 to 375 tonnes per capita, respectively. This research provides new insight into the relationship between MS and flows in national economies and enables us to extend the debate about material efficiency from a narrow perspective of throughput to a broader perspective of stocks.

Keywords: construction stocks, industrial ecology, material efficiency, material flow analysis (MFA), social metabolism, stock and flow modeling

Suggested Citation

Fishman, Tomer and Schandl, Heinz and Tanikawa, Hiroki and Walker, Paul and Krausmann, Fridolin, Accounting for the Material Stock of Nations (June 2014). Journal of Industrial Ecology, Vol. 18, Issue 3, pp. 407-420, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2450332 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jiec.12114

Tomer Fishman (Contact Author)

Nagoya University ( email )

Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku
Nagoya-City, 4648601
Japan

Heinz Schandl

Government of the Commonwealth of Australia - CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)

41 Boggo Rd
Dutton Park, Queensland
Australia

Hiroki Tanikawa

Nagoya University - Graduate School of Economics ( email )

1 Furo-cho
Chikusa-ku
Nagoya, 464-8601
Japan

Paul Walker

Government of the Commonwealth of Australia - CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)

41 Boggo Rd
Dutton Park, Queensland
Australia

Fridolin Krausmann

Alpen Adria University - Institute of Social Ecology ( email )

Schottenfeldgasse 29, A-1070
Vienna
Austria

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