Katya Pérez-Guzman

Katya Pérez-Guzman’s research aims to study a possible carbon curse by developing a network centrality measure of extractivism of natural resources, based on input output economic models

The carbon curse[1] is a new economic hypothesis, stemming from the natural resource curse, that establishes that the countries with the highest amount of fossil fuels - petroleum, coal, natural gas and liquefied gas - tend to emit, in the medium term, a greater amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) per each unit of its gross domestic product (GDP); that is, to maintain its productive activities, the country emits much more carbon into the atmosphere per productive unit than other countries.

But the exact reasons of how the oil wealth of a country could lead to excessive production of greenhouse gases per unit of product are not easy to determine. The challenge facing Katya Pérez at this moment is to find a way to quantify in a global and comparative way how much a country depends on the extraction and export of fossil fuels, so that she can then investigate how this measure is related to its carbon intensity. In other words, according to the Fifth Assessment of the IPCC Working Group III[2] on drivers for climate change, it is necessary to systematically study the indirect drivers related to fossil fuel abundance and management.

The way Dr. Perez-Guzman plans to do it is through the network analysis of input-output economic models, which will allow her to know the origin and destination of the economic transactions of each productive sector, parallel to the respective transactions of certain natural resources, such as minerals or CO2. A possible first result will be to analyze how the amounts of emissions of the different industries of a country change when the monetary gains obtained from fossil fuel exports change, and compare this relationship with that which exists in countries without energy resource. Katya has already advanced a basic network structure that ranks countries based on their level of extractive intensity, standardized in a comparative manner. The next step is to use different network centralities to analyze changes in the network structure, such as random walk centrality, both for economic flows in monetary units and in the environmental satellite accounts. For this, she would like to also explore other methodologies, such as multiplex network analysis or system dynamic methodologies.  

[1] Friedrichs, J., & Inderwildi, O. R. (2013). The carbon curse: Are fuel rich countries doomed to high CO 2 intensities?. Energy Policy62, 1356-1365.

[2] Blanco, G., Gerlagh, R., Suh, S., Barrett, J., de Coninck, H. C., Morejon, C. D. & Pathak, H. (2014). Drivers, trends and mitigation. Fifth Assessment Report, Working Group III, IPCC 

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Funding: The Mexican National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT)

Nationality: Mexican

Program: Advanced Systems Analysis Program

Dates: April 2017 - March 2019

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Last edited: 29 October 2018


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The carbon curse: Can countries that produce fossil fuels ever get close to a low-carbon economy?

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