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Social Accounting Matrices and Applied General Equilibrium Models

Working Paper 563 | Published January 1, 1996

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Timothy J. Kehoe Consultant, University of Minnesota, and National Bureau of Economic Research
Social Accounting Matrices and Applied General Equilibrium Models


To illustrate the use of social accounting matrices (SAMs) in applied general equilibrium (GE) modeling, we use an aggregated SAM for the Spanish economy to calibrate a simple applied GE model. The idea is to construct artificial people—households, government, and a foreign sector—who make the same transactions in the equilibrium of the model economy as do their counterparts in the data. This calibration procedure can be augmented, or partially substituted for, by statistical estimation of key parameters. We show the usefulness of such a model by presenting the results of a comparative exercise that mimics the policy changes that took place in Spain during its 1986 integration into the European Community. Sub-sequent data shows the model results to be remarkably accurate, especially if we account for other major shocks affected the Spanish economy in 1986.

Published in: _Applied Economics and Public Policy_, I. Begg and B. Henry, Eds., 1998: pp. 59-87,