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A SAM (Social Accounting Matrix) approach to the policy decision process

Listed author(s):
  • Susana Santos

Policy analysis and policy making are parts of the policy decision process for which working tools are needed. A Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) consistent with the national accounts is presented at the level of a country, as a possible working tool intended to support that process. Such a framework will therefore consist of a SAM-based approach. On the one hand, it will involve the presentation of a numerical version of a SAM, constructed from national accounts adapted to the System of National Accounts (SNA). This numerical version will be shown as a device that makes it possible to take a snapshot of the reality under study. On the other hand, it will also involve the presentation of two algebraic versions, with which alternative scenarios will be defined for the measurement of policy impacts. One version will consist of accounting multipliers, and the other version will be a so-called master model. In the latter each cell will be defined with a linear equation or system of equations, whose components will be all the known and quantified transactions of the SNA, using the parameters deduced from the numerical SAM that served as the basis for this model. The national accounts will be adopted as the main source of information. The nominal flows that are representative of that part of a society’s activity that is measured by these accounts will be used to measure the network of linkages and interactions involving institutional sectors, production activities and products, as well as the factors that are involved in the production process. An application will be made of a SAM to the Portuguese case, with a comparison being made of the data obtained from the initial numerical SAM and the numerical versions replicated after running the SAM-based models that are representative of those two algebraic versions. Certain comments will be made about those aspects that are either not measured at all or are poorly measured, or else are not identified, and these will be considered as limitations affecting the work undertaken. Some guidelines will be defined for future research, designed to take the study of the SAM to a deeper level and to improve its use in establishing a suitable framework for explaining the reality of countries and supporting the policy decision process. JEL Classification: E61; E10; D57.

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Paper provided by ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa in its series Working Papers Department of Economics with number 2012/28.

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Date of creation: Sep 2012
Handle: RePEc:ise:isegwp:wp282012
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Department of Economics, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Universidade de Lisboa, Rua do Quelhas 6, 1200-781 LISBON, PORTUGAL

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  1. 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.
  2. Pyatt, Graham, 1991. "SAMs, the SNA and National Accounting Capabilities," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(2), pages 177-198, June.
  3. Susana Santos, 2009. "Using a Sam-Based Model to Measure the Distributional Impacts of Government Policies," Working Papers Department of Economics 2009/31, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  4. Pyatt, Graham, 1985. "Commodity Balances and National Accounts: A SAM Perspective," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 31(2), pages 155-169, June.
  5. Susana Santos, 2007. "Macro-SAMs for modelling purposes. An application to Portugal in 2003," Working Papers Department of Economics 2007/17, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  6. 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.
  7. Graham Pyatt, 1999. "Some Relationships between T-Accounts, Input-Output Tables and Social Accounting Matrices," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(4), pages 365-387.
  8. Susana SANTOS, "undated". "A SAM-based Model, Constructed from the SNA, to be Used for Studying the Distributional Impacts of Government Policies in Portugal," EcoMod2008 23800125, EcoMod.
  9. Susana Santos, 2011. "Constructing SAMs from the SNA," Working Papers Department of Economics 2011/18, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  10. Pyatt, Graham, 1988. "A SAM approach to modeling," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 327-352.
  11. Susana Santos, 2006. "Better policy analysis with better data. Constructing a Social Accounting Matrix from the European System of National Accounts," Working Papers Department of Economics 2006/22, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  12. 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.
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