OECD Statistics Working Papers

The OECD Statistics Working Paper Series - managed by the OECD Statistics and Data Directorate – is designed to make available in a timely fashion and to a wider readership selected studies prepared by staff in the Secretariat or by outside consultants working on OECD projects. The papers included are of a technical, methodological or statistical policy nature and relate to statistical work relevant to the organisation. The Working Papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.

Joint Working Papers:

Testing the evidence, how good are public sector responsiveness measures and how to improve them? (with OECD Public Governance Directorate)

Measuring Well-being and Progress in Countries at Different Stages of Development: Towards a More Universal Conceptual Framework (with OECD Development Centre)

Measuring and Assessing Job Quality: The OECD Job Quality Framework (with OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs)

Forecasting GDP during and after the Great Recession: A contest between small-scale bridge and large-scale dynamic factor models (with OECD Economics Directorate)

Decoupling of wages from productivity: Macro-level facts (with OECD Economics Directorate)

Which policies increase value for money in health care? (with OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs)

Compiling mineral and energy resource accounts according to the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) 2012 (with OECD Environment Directorate)


Expert Group on Disparities in a National Accounts Framework

Results from the 2015 Exercise

In 2011, an Expert Group was launched to carry out a feasibility study on the compilation of distributional measures of income, consumption and wealth across household groups consistent with national accounts data. This group developed a methodology on the basis of which first experimental results on income, consumption and savings according to income quintiles were compiled and published in 2013. In 2015, the expert group engaged in a second exercise focusing on a more recent year and taking into account a number of adjustments to the methodology used in the previous exercise. This paper describes the sources, methods and results of this second exercise.

The results of the exercise show that in general all countries are able to comply with the methodology. Furthermore, countries have micro data available for most of the national accounts items and in case of lacking data, imputations lead to comparable results. However, the results also show that in some cases gaps between the micro aggregates and the national accounts totals are quite substantial, possibly affecting the overall distributional results. Furthermore, more information is needed on how countries link data across various data sources. The experimental results show that Mexico records the highest income and consumption disparities, followed by the United States and Portugal, and that Slovenia records the lowest. The paper also shows that breakdowns into other household groups, such as age group and labour market status reveal very interesting information.


Keywords: national accounts, households, distributional results
JEL: E21: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics / Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy / Macroeconomics: Consumption; Saving; Wealth; D31: Microeconomics / Distribution / Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions; E01: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics / General / Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts; C82: Mathematical and Quantitative Methods / Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs / Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
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