Research / BFI Working PaperNov 09, 2022

Disaggregated Economic Accounts

Asger Andersen, Emil Toft Hansen, Kilian Huber, Niels Johannesen, Ludwig Straub

We develop and analyze a new system of disaggregated economic accounts. The system breaks down national accounting positions into bilateral flows among consistently defined subgroups of consumers (“consumer cells”), subgroups of producers (“producer cells”), the government, and the rest of the world. We disaggregate the full circular flow of money, including consumption, labor compensation, firm surplus, foreign trade, taxes, and trade in intermediates. The measurement is comprehensive, so that the disaggregated flows add up to national aggregates and fulfill all national accounting identities. We implement the disaggregated system for small region-by-industry cells in Denmark. We present new facts on the structure of disaggregated flows across the economy, for example that spending flows into cities, city residents spend more abroad, and the government on net transfers resources into cities. Using a macroeconomic model, we highlight that disaggregated economic accounts change our understanding of shock propagation in general equilibrium. In particular, we find that the structure of disaggregated flows shapes the aggregate and distributional consequences of export demand shocks.

Additional Materials