Bayesian Integration of Large SNA Data Frameworks with an Application to Guatemala

47 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2011 Last revised: 20 Apr 2011

See all articles by Jan W. van Tongeren

Jan W. van Tongeren

Tilburg University

J.R. Magnus

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, School of Business and Economics

Date Written: March 3, 2011


We present a Bayesian estimation method applied to an extended set of national accounts data and estimates of approximately 2500 variables. The method is based on conventional national accounts frameworks as compiled by countries in Central America, in particular Guatemala, and on concepts that are de nied in the international standards of the System of National Accounts. Identities between the variables are exactly satisfi ed by the estimates. The method uses ratios between the variables as Bayesian conditions, and introduces prior reliabilities of values of basic data and ratios as criteria to adjust these values in order to satisfy the conditions. The paper not only presents estimates and precisions, but also discusses alternative conditions and reliabilities, in order to test the impact of framework assumptions and carry out sensitivity analyses. These tests involve, among others, the impact on Bayesian estimates of limited annual availability of data, of very low reliabilities (close to non-availability) of price indices, of limited availability of important administrative and survey data, and also the impact of aggregation of the basic data. We introduce the concept of `tentative' estimates that are close to conventional national accounts estimates, in order to establish a close link between the Bayesian estimation approach and conventional national accounting.

Keywords: Macro accounts, system of national accounts, data frameworks, ratios, reliability, Bayesian estimation, sensitivity analysis, aggregation

JEL Classification: C11, C82, C87, E01, E20, P44

Suggested Citation

van Tongeren, Jan W. and Magnus, Jan R., Bayesian Integration of Large SNA Data Frameworks with an Application to Guatemala (March 3, 2011). CentER Discussion Paper No. 2011-022, Available at SSRN: or

Jan W. Van Tongeren

Tilburg University ( email )

Postbus 90153
Tilburg, DC Noord-Brabant 5000 LE

Jan R. Magnus (Contact Author)

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, School of Business and Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV

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