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Social Challenges To Economic Accounting And Economic Challenges To Social Accounting


  • Milton Moss


The question addressed in this paper is: Why can't we have a good measuring rod of the economic and social performance of our society? The answers are basically positive but lie mostly in the direction of (1) avoiding simplistic solutions such as turning the national income accounts into a measure of social welfare and (2) providing the elements of an information strategy to obtain such a measure or more accurately such a set of measures. The proposed information strategy highlights five activities: (1) the presentation and analysis of welfare outcomes, an activity which is analogous to but broader than “social indicators”; (2) social accounting which includes economic accounting, demographic accounting, and time‐use accounting; (3) model building and operation which, unlike accounting, are concerned with behavioral or causal relationships used to explain and project welfare outcomes; (4) hypothesis testing to develop new insights into economic and social behavior; and finally (5) the building and maintenance of a data base required for carrying on the aforementioned four activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Milton Moss, 1980. "Social Challenges To Economic Accounting And Economic Challenges To Social Accounting," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 26(1), pages 1-17, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:26:y:1980:i:1:p:1-17
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4991.1980.tb00127.x

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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Columbia. Economics PhD alumnus. Milton Moss, 1962
      by Irwin Collier in Economics in the Rear-View Mirror on 2020-08-03 07:39:41

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