Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 5-15-2013


The OEAS (Ocean Economy Accounting System) has been established in China for 6 years. However, the economic impact of the ocean economy in China’s national economy has not yet been understood clearly at the national or regional levels. The direct impact of ocean industries in China at national and regional levels has been compiled for the period of 2001-2011, but it is still unclear what the overall economic impacts of ocean industries are in the national economy, and how the ocean industries interact with other industries in the national economy. China is similar to other ocean countries in that, - as Colgan [5] suggests that ”knowledge of the marine economy is very imprecise because little has been invested in developing the needed data, especially in comparison with the investment in understanding of other natural resources .”

Input-Output (I-O) analysis is applied in this research in order to get the whole picture of the ocean economy in China. Information on an industry’s linkages with the rest of the economy helps us to better understand the structure of an economy and how it changes over time, which in turn is important in formulating industrial policies [6-11]. Input-output analysis has been around for decades in various disciplines of economics and is widely used by researchers, policy analysts, and practitioners. Multipliers are used to calculate the overall economic impact of a project or policy change. Two types of multipliers are commonly used, type I multipliers measure the industrial response to the change while type II multipliers measure the consumption-induced response in addition to the industrial response.

This paper aims to provide decision-makers, planners, industry and the general public with a measure of the relative economic importance of the ocean. To this end, this paper has two specific objectives: The first is to develop an I-O framework for examining the role of the ocean industry in China. The second goal is to develop a preliminary indication of the size of the ocean industry in China.

The paper continues as follows: Section 2 provides an overview of the ocean economy and major industries in China and the basis for selecting these industries. Section 3 provides a formal overview of the economic impacts evaluation methodologies of four main coastal countries, and tries to find a proper evaluation method for China. Section 4 describes the data requirements, data limitations, and data used in this paper. Section 5 presents the results of the I-O analysis in terms of multipliers and linkages for the ocean sector. Section 6 offers some concluding comments on the analysis.


The Ocean Economy Accounting System (OEAS) was established in China in 2006. However, the economic indirect and induced impact of the ocean economy as part of the Chinese national economy has not been completely understood at the national or regional level. Activities in the marine sector not only affect the industries in this sector but also influence other sectors through inter-sector linkages. This paper employs input-output (I-O) analysis to examine the role of the ocean industry in the economy of Tianjin, China for the year 2007. This paper represents the first effort to quantify the inter- industry linkage effects of China’s ocean industry.