Considerations on Revising Input-Output
Concepts in the System of National
Accounts and the European System of
Integrated Economic Accounts
Although an intensive debate on the revision of international systems of national accounts (NA) has been going on for several years, the role of input-output (I-O) in the system has only recently been addressed (see Chantraine and Newson, 1985; Kurabayashi, 1985). An important contribution in this respect has been a 1985 paper by Vu Viet ( Statistical Office of the United Nations). Apart from describing the impact of the revision of the NA systems on I-O, Viet gave a distinct overview about the problems arising in I-O compilation. In addition, proposals for a revision of I-O concepts have been put forward both by Stahmer ( 1985a) and by van den Bos ( 1985).
This chapter is restricted to the revision of input-output concepts in the framework of the System of National Accounts (SNA) of the United Nations and the European System of Integrated Economic Accounts (ESA) (see United Nations, 1968, 1973; EUROSTAT, 1979). It does not cover the revision of I-O in the Material Product System (MPS) (see United Nations, 1971).
The first part of the chapter focuses on the requirements for future input-output concepts. This is followed by a comparison of these requirements with the existing concepts. Finally, the chapter outlines proposals for future input-output concepts that meet the requirements as far as possible.
Since all conceptual questions cannot be treated in a short chapter, the focus here is on connecting I-O data with other NA subsystems. This integration depends on two crucial points: the statistical units chosen and the treatment of transactions. While in the SNA and the ESA the concept of transaction is uniform throughout all subsystems, problems arise due to the varying statistical unit. Therefore the choice of the statistical unit will be considered here in depth. A revision of the concept of transaction is only touched on, taking into account a suggestion of the Dutch Statistical Office (see van Bochove and van Tuinen, 1985). The question of an appropriate price concept will not be dealt with at all ( Vu Viet, 1985).