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Working Paper

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Alternate Input-Output Matrix Updating Formulations By Randall W. JacksonandAlan T. MurrayRESEARCH PAPER 2003-6


There has been a recent resurgence of interest in biproportional adjustment methods for updating and interpreting change in matrix representations of regional structures, most commonly input-output accounts. Although the biproportional method, commonly called the RAS technique in the input-output literature, has been shown to have a number of theoretically appealing properties, various alternatives do exist. In this paper, we develop and assess empirically a number of alternatives, comparing performance and examining attributes of these adjustment methods. Two of these are sign-preserving updating methods for use when tables contain both positive and negative entries. One of these is shown to generate less information gain than Junius and Oosterhaven’s generalized RAS method which was formulated to deal with matrices with both positive and negative values. Overall, while the RAS method continues to be commonly used and its choice is often rational, alternative methods can perform as well or better along certain dimensions and in certain contexts.