Interactions between Financial and Environmental Networks in OECD Countries

PLoS One. 2015 Sep 16;10(9):e0136767. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0136767. eCollection 2015.


We analysed a multiplex of financial and environmental networks between OECD countries from 2002 to 2010. Foreign direct investments and portfolio investment showing the flows in equity securities, short-term, long-term and total debt, these securities represent the financial layers; emissions of NOx, PM10, SO2, CO2 equivalent and the water footprint associated with international trade represent the environmental layers. We present a new measure of cross-layer correlations between flows in different layers based on reciprocity. For the assessment of results, we implement a null model for this measure based on the exponential random graph theory. We find that short-term financial flows are more correlated with environmental flows than long-term investments. Moreover, the correlations between reverse financial and environmental flows (i.e. the flows of different layers going in opposite directions) are generally stronger than correlations between synergic flows (flows going in the same direction). This suggests a trade-off between financial and environmental layers, where, more financialised countries display higher correlations between outgoing financial flows and incoming environmental flows than from lower financialised countries. Five countries are identified as hubs in this finance-environment multiplex: The United States, France, Germany, Belgium-Luxembourg and United Kingdom.

MeSH terms

  • Environment*
  • Investments*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development*
  • Temperature

Grant support

The authors have no support or funding to report.