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Some conceptual difficulties regarding ‘net’ multipliers


  • Ferran Sancho



Multipliers are routinely used for impact evaluation of private projects and public policies at the national and subnational levels. Oosterhaven and Stelder (J Reg Sci 42(3), 533–543, 2002 ) correctly pointed out the misuse of standard ‘gross’ multipliers and proposed the concept of ‘net’ multiplier as a solution to this bad practice. We prove their proposal is not well founded. We do so by showing that supporting theorems are faulty in enunciation and demonstration. The proofs are flawed due to an analytical error, but the theorems themselves cannot be salvaged as generic, non-curiosum counterexamples demonstrate. We also provide a general analytical framework for multipliers and, using it, we show that standard ‘gross’ multipliers are all that are needed within the interindustry model since they follow the causal logic of the economic model, are well-defined and independent of exogenous shocks, and are interpretable as predictors for change. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Ferran Sancho, 2013. "Some conceptual difficulties regarding ‘net’ multipliers," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 51(2), pages 537-552, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:anresc:v:51:y:2013:i:2:p:537-552 DOI: 10.1007/s00168-012-0542-0

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jan Oosterhaven, 2007. "The net multiplier is a new key sector indicator: reply to De Mesnard’s comment," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 41(2), pages 273-283, June.
    2. Ferran Sancho, 2012. "Straightening out the concept of direct and indirect input requirements," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(1), pages 502-509.
    3. Louis Mesnard, 2007. "Reply to Oosterhaven’s: the net multiplier is a new key sector indicator," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 41(2), pages 285-296, June.
    4. Louis de Mesnard, 2002. "NoteAbout the Concept of "Net Multipliers"," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 545-548.
    5. Louis Mesnard, 2007. "A critical comment on Oosterhaven–Stelder net multipliers," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 41(2), pages 249-271, June.
    6. Gim, Ho Un & Kim, Koonchan, 1998. "The General Relation between Two Different Notions of Direct and Indirect Input Requirements," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 199-208, January.
    7. Jan Oosterhaven & Dirk Stelder, 2002. "Net Multipliers Avoid Exaggerating Impacts: With A Bi-Regional Illustration for the Dutch Transportation Sector," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 533-543.
    8. repec:dgr:rugsom:04c01 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Erik Dietzenbacher, 2005. "More on multipliers," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 421-426.
    10. Oosterhaven, Jan, 2004. "On the definition of key sectors and the stability of net versus gross multipliers," Research Report 04C01, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
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    Cited by:

    1. Erik Dietzenbacher & Manfred Lenzen & Bart Los & Dabo Guan & Michael L. Lahr & Ferran Sancho & Sangwon Suh & Cuihong Yang, 2013. "Input--Output Analysis: The Next 25 Years," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(4), pages 369-389, December.
    2. Miguel Vélez, Francisco Javier de & Llop Llop, Maria & Manresa, Antonio, 1954-, 2013. "Supply Multipliers in Two Regional Economies," Working Papers 2072/213636, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    C67; D57; 022; R15;

    JEL classification:

    • C67 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Input-Output Models
    • D57 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Input-Output Tables and Analysis
    • R15 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Econometric and Input-Output Models; Other Methods


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