Compiling the national accounts demystified - Netherlands (2007)

In this paper, the national measurement process underlying national accounts statistics is described and discussed. For non-national accountants, the compilation of national accounts statistics is usually a mystic and incomprehensible process.The literature on national accounts compilation methods and the reliability of national accounts statistics is very limited. The value added of this paper in view of current literature is therefore manifold:
– It demonstrates the importance of the operational model.
– It provides a systematic account of the various steps in compiling national accounts statistics.
– It clarifies the role of accounting identities, assumptions and plausibility checks.
– It discusses the role of environmental factors like skills, resources and policy.
– It puts the issue of the reliability of national accounts statistics in a general context, stresses the importance of sensitivity analysis and downplays the importance of indicators for margins of error.
– Concrete proposals for improving compiling the national accounts are put forward.

Custodian: Statistics Netherlands