A social accounting matrix for Scotland

Emonts-Holley, Tobias and Ross, Andrew and Swales, John (2014) A social accounting matrix for Scotland. Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, 38 (1). pp. 84-93. ISSN 2046-5378

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Irrespective of the outcome of the September 2014 Scottish independence referendum, Scotland will require more and better economic data to manage its increased economic responsibilities. The 2012 Scotland Act and proposals by each major UK political party will further increase Scotland‟s fiscal powers. These powers require that future Scottish governments have more detailed knowledge of the flows of income and expenditure through the Scottish economy. This will allow it to better understand how the economy operates and – more critically – to model how the economy will response to proposed changes in, for example, government expenditures and taxes. One extremely effective way to present and analyse such data is via a Social Accounting Matrix (SAM). Here we present a Scottish SAM for 2009 constructed in the Fraser of Allander Institute. We take the reader through the SAM‟s key elements and show how it can be used to better describe, analyse and model the Scottish economy.