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Title: Quantifying the economic and environmental linkage and leakage of the construction sector in an urban economy
Authors: Hung, Chang-wei Cathy
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: In the era of globalization, accelerated international trade activates the spatial agglomeration and fragmentation that lead to an increase in worldwide production, trade and also environmental pollutant. Small open economies are forced to undergo economic restructuring with few dominating sectors, and hence, rely on substantial quantities of imported goods and services. Quantification of trans-boundary economic leakage and trans-boundary carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions are essential, especially for the construction sector which requires great intermediate inputs from upstream sectors both locally and globally. The dissertation proposes an analytical framework to evaluate the effects of trade and service-dominating economic structure on economic and environmental influence and leakage of the construction sector in an urban economy, using Hong Kong as a case study. Input-output analysis (IOA) is applied to capture the domestic intersectoral linkage, and multi-regional IOA is conducted to measure the economic leakage resulting from international trade, as well as the energy-related CO₂ emissions induced by construction consumption. In the absence of Hong Kong official input-output tables (IOTs), five IOTs during 1995 to 2013 and three multi-regional IOTs for the years 2004, 2007, and 2011 are compiled using the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) database in conjunction with official statistics. Comparisons with other economies are included to disclose the relative influences and leakages of Hong Kong's construction sector. The analyzed results reveal the declining economic importance of Hong Kong's construction sector in stimulating domestic economic growth, along with increased leakage to the manufacturing sectors abroad. The domestic backward linkage has dropped from 1.74 in 1995 to 1.55 in 2013 per unit of final demand. 38.37-40.55% of the economic contribution has leaked out through international trade. As for the environmental impacts, CO₂ emissions emitted to sustain the local construction consumption are at least 32.37% higher than those estimated by the conventional accounting approach. Yet, the consumption-based CO₂ emissions have witnessed a slight decline from 11.50 Mt in 2004 to 10.19 Mt in 2011. This trend is closely tied to the declining emission intensities of upstream sectors, even with strong growth in construction final demand. 96.61-97.41% of the consumption-based CO₂ are indirect emissions, and 73.50-78.58% are trans-boundary emissions. Utilities, Manufacturing, and Transport & Storage are the main source sectors contributing the most to total CO₂ emissions. The analyzed outcomes provide a rational basis with which to inform the decision-making of the Hong Kong government in resource allocation and policy planning. Import substitution policy is recommended to ease foreign dependence through local production of construction products. Also, extended emission monitoring beyond municipal boundaries, diversification of import origins, use of low carbon-intensive building materials locally and from nearby regions are proposed to mitigate the CO₂ emissions generated by the construction activities.
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Construction industry -- Environmental aspects -- China -- Hong Kong
Carbon dioxide mitigation -- Economic aspects -- China -- Hong Kong
Pages: x, 140 papges : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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