Socioeconomic Heterogeneity in Model Applications

Population diversity in terms of age, sex, education, and differences in income, behavior, and location can all influence human consumption patterns, and in turn the assessment of their environmental impacts. The Socioeconomic Heterogeneity in Model Applications (SCHEMA) project will investigate how these factors might affect patterns of global change.

© Lucian Milasan | Dreamstime

© Lucian Milasan | Dreamstime

Socioeconomic heterogeneity and its impacts on the environment comes in diverse forms. For instance, income and geographic location can influence people’s choice of cooking fuels and stoves, which in turn drive local pollution, related health impacts, and greenhouse gas emissions. These impacts could well be underestimated if only population averages are considered.

It is therefore crucial to take such socioeconomic heterogeneity into account when modeling global change. SCHEMA is a cross-cutting project which involves close collaborations across four IIASA programs, Energy, Ecosystems Services and Management, Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases, and World Population. The project aims to incorporate key dimensions of socioeconomic heterogeneity—initially, urban/rural location and income distribution—into IIASA models covering diverse global issues: the Greenhouse gas‑Air pollution Interactions and Synergies (GAINS) model, the Global Biosphere Management Model (GLOBIOM), and the Model for Energy Supply Strategy Alternatives and their General Environmental Impact (MESSAGE).

In its first year SCHEMA has been focused on southern Asia, and researchers have assessed drivers of urbanization and income inequality as well as developing preliminary projections of both of these factors. Researchers also have developed a method of incorporating these two drivers into IIASA models. 

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Last edited: 25 October 2016


Narasimha Rao

Project Leader - Decent Living Energy (DLE) Project


T +43(0) 2236 807 216

Samir K.C.

Project Leader

World Population

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Hugo Valin

Research Scholar

Ecosystems Services and Management

T +43(0) 2236 807 405

Gregor Kiesewetter

Research Scholar

Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases

T +43(0) 2236 807 369

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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