I built an Input-Output table (IOT) with the industryXindustry format because I thought it was a building block to build a social accounting matrix (SAM). But now I realize that I can't transpose the data from the IOT into the SAM because the SAM requires an industryXcommodity format and does not support industryXindustry or commodityXcommodity flows.

So the question is, how am I supposed to transfer data from the IOT to the SAM? They are supposed to be one of the main sources of information to build a SAM...

Many thanks!



1 Answer 1


IOTs are usually derived from Supply and Use tables, which have an industry by commodity format. If you used these to derive your IOT, then you can use those to build your SAM, though note you need both the Supply AND Use tables for this. You end up with something that looks roughly like what you see on slide 7 here - with both commodity and activity (industry) rows and commodity and activity columns in your SAM. If you have the data to support it, this is probably the preferred way to go about structuring a SAM.

However, if you only have an industry by industry IOT, you can still build a SAM from that (with additional data from the country's National Accounts or another source), and this approach is far from uncommon. Instead of having separate activity and commodity rows and columns, you'll only have activity rows and columns, but you can still construct a SAM (though you may have to combine some of the non-IOT cells in your SAM to get the structure to work). As an example to hand, here is a paper outlining the construction of a SAM for Scotland using an industry by industry format (as Scotland is a part of the UK, it also shows an approach to constructing a SAM using estimates when full National Accounts data outside the IOT are not available).

  • $\begingroup$ Many thanks Gary! I will look into that paper, but my preferred approach would be to build a SAM using a commodity by industry format with Supply and Use data. I did not find many sources to document how to build a SAM for Supply and Use tables though... $\endgroup$
    – Sarah
    May 27, 2019 at 14:24
  • $\begingroup$ You might have already found them yourself, but for the SUT approach you may find the section starting at p511 in unstats.un.org/unsd/nationalaccount/docs/SUT_IOT_HB_wc.pdf useful, as well as this paper from Eurostat: circabc.europa.eu/sd/a/aed2eee8-d75b-4f51-a7cb-17af1cf6115c/… $\endgroup$
    – Gary
    May 28, 2019 at 0:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.