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Constructing SAMs from the SNA


  • Susana Santos


A SAM (Social Accounting Matrix) approach can be an important aid for the modelling of economic policy and a valuable support in the decision-making process, since it provides a description of the measurable part of a society’s activity. Richard Stone made the first and most fundamental contribution to the System of National Accounts (SNA), implemented by the United Nations. Benefiting from successive improved versions since 1953, this system has defined the rules for using the above-mentioned measurement tool. In turn, statistical offices have considered these rules and adapted them to their specific realities, thus defining their own systems, which they have then used as guidelines for measuring the activity of their countries or groups of countries. With these successive improvements, as embodied in the SNA’s latest version from 2008, the description of the activity of a society, its specific characteristics and the problems that it faces have become more realistic. Therefore, the use of the SNA in a SAM-based approach will certainly contribute towards a better modelling of economic policy. Numerical and algebraic versions of the SAM will be examined, with special attention being paid to the former and to the method of its construction from the SNA. Its basic structure and its consistency within the whole system will be studied, as well as any possible disaggregations, extensions, aggregates, indicators, and balances that can be calculated. Other aspects beyond that basic structure will also be examined. An application will be made to Portugal.

Suggested Citation

  • Susana Santos, 2011. "Constructing SAMs from the SNA," Working Papers Department of Economics 2011/18, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
  • Handle: RePEc:ise:isegwp:wp182011

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Susana Santos, 2007. "Macro-SAMs for modelling purposes. An application to Portugal in 2003," Working Papers Department of Economics 2007/17, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
    2. Santos, Susana, 2010. "A quantitative approach to the effects of social policy measures. An application to Portugal, using Social Accounting Matrices," MPRA Paper 23612, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Keuning, Steven J & de Ruijter, Willem A, 1988. "Guidelines to the Construction of a Social Accounting Matrix," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(1), pages 71-100, March.
    4. Santos, Susana G., 2004. "Portuguese net borrowing and the government budget balance: A SAM approach," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 703-717, September.
    5. Susana Santos, 2007. "Modelling economic circuit flows in a social accounting matrix framework. An application to Portugal," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(14), pages 1753-1771.
    6. Pyatt, Graham, 1988. "A SAM approach to modeling," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 327-352.
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    Cited by:

    1. Susana Santos, 2010. "A quantitative approach to the effects of social policy measures. An application to Portugal, using Social Accounting Matrices," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2010_33, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
    2. Gaspar Núñez Rodríguez, 2015. "A 2008 SAM and AGEM of Mexico and the case of taxes on hydrocarbons extraction," Serie documentos de trabajo del Centro de Estudios Económicos 2015-05, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos.
    3. Susana Santos, 2012. "A SAM (Social Accounting Matrix) approach to the policy decision process," Working Papers Department of Economics 2012/28, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.

    More about this item


    Social Accounting Matrix; National Accounts; Economic Modelling; Socio-Economic Modelling Classification-C82; E01; E61;

    JEL classification:

    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

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