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A Study of the Role of Regionalization in the Generation of Aggregation Error in Regional Input –Output Models

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Although the need for aggregation in input –output modelling has diminished with the increases in computing power, an alarming number of regional studies continue to use the procedure. The rationales for doing so typically are grounded in data problems at the regional level. As a result many regional analysts use aggregated national input –output models and trade –adjust them at this aggregated level. In this paper, we point out why this approach can be inappropriate. We do so by noting that it creates a possible source of model misapplication (i.e., a direct effect could appear for a sector where one does not exist) and also by finding that a large amount of error (on the order of 100 percent) can be induced into the impact results as a result of improper aggregation. In simulations, we find that average aggregation error tends to peak at 81 sectors after rising from 492 to 365 sectors. Perversely, error then diminishes somewhat as the model size decreases further to 11 and 6 sectors. We also find that while region – and sector –specific attributes influence aggregation error in a statistically significantly manner, their influence on the amount of error generally does not appear to be large.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: The State University of New Jersey

Publication date: 2002-08-01

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