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The new Scottish input-output tables : the importance of UK and foreign trade for Scotland

Draper, P R and McNicoll, I H (1979) The new Scottish input-output tables : the importance of UK and foreign trade for Scotland. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 4 (4). pp. 28-37. ISSN 0306-7866

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    A great deal of recent analysis of the Scottish economy has been undertaken, especially since the discovery of oil in the North Sea injected a significant new element. One important piece of information has always been missing, however. Until recently, there existed no reliable data on Scottish trade with the rest of the UK, or with the rest of the world. In 1978, however, such estimates became available for the first time with the publication of a complete set of Input-Output Tables for the Scottish Economy (for 1973). These were the product of some three years' work by IBM, the Scottish Council Research Institute and the Fraser of Allander Institute. While the results are obviously subject to the range of error usually associated with such exercises, they are striking enough to give us some interesting and novel insights into the nature of the Scottish economy. They have implications too for the ways in which regional policies might best be deployed in trying to overcome some of Scotland's perennial industrial problems, and perhaps also for the current constitutional controversies.