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The National Accounts as a Tool for Analysis and Policy; History, Economic Theory and Data Compilation Issues
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This book provides a unique overview of the merits and limitations of the national accounts. Attention is paid to the three centuries old history of the national accounts and the links with economic theory, practical data compilations issues and the many uses and applications.
National accounts statistics could be regarded as an economic hamburger produced and consumed all over the world. Like hamburgers, there is a problem of reputation and image. National accounts are looked at disdainfully by many economic theorists (“dull bookkeeping”, “messy concepts”, “a description but not an analysis”, “irrelevant for real policy issues”), applied economists (“we use the national accounts statistics but it is not necessary to know the underlying concepts and measurement methods”) and statisticians addicted to sampling theory (“unscientific compilation methods”). This book is an effort to change this image.