Abstract: The choice of concepts in economic statistics has a great impact on the quality of the statistical output. In this paper this impact is explored. A brief overview of the main concepts of economic statistics is given, followed by a discussion of aspects of quality, both from the point of view of the user and of the producer of statistics. The elements of quality are then related to the choice of concepts.
Abstract: Conventional National Accounting (NA) concepts on the territorial delineation of an economy are not a field of particular controversy, due to their usually only marginal impact on the overall outcome. Therefore it might seem a natural solution to transpose the same rules and conventions valid on the national level of NA onto the subnational levels of territory. Through this analogy, however, it is ignored that with increasing degrees of regional detail at the same time difficulties are trading in, increasing more than proportionately. In view of this trade-off and limitations seldom reflected theoretically, a re-consideration of the basics of Regional…Accounting (RA) seems to be necessary. This is particularly true in a period when important revisions of the related basic systems are approaching the stage of practical implementation. This is all the more true for RA based thereupon which are going to become particularly significant for practical policies. The following is a theoretical examination of this issue, starting from basics which are common to economic statistics, as well as NA and RA. These concepts, above all, refer to statistical units, classifications, peculiarities of observation and the limitations of regional economics, recognized in terms of empirical description rather than arm-chair assumptions and projection. A fundamental, clear categorical distinction between “causality” (which is accessible to observation) and “finality” (which is hardly so, or not at all) is advanced, which is to be applied as a primary characterisation of data specifically useful in the present context. On that basis several layers of observation, reliability and regionality are systematically distinguished so that in the end a pattern of RA develops which is quite different from nowadays approaches. While not providing the full range of data usually expected from RA, this system is still suitable for interpretation and analysis and perhaps even more so thanks to its avoidance of prejudice, arbitrariness and anticipation. Indeed, the unquestionable “hard core” of such a RA system turns out to be of relatively limited scope, complemented by segments of decreasing significance for the present purposes. Notwithstanding these distinctions, the data framework as used nowadays will not be lost: appropriately redesigned and reordered it might still be useful to accommodate the above distinctions. However, nobody would see himself longer caught in a situation either to believe the whole story or to refuse it at all. The text is completed by a brief (though comprehensive) discussion of concepts useful in this statistical context, as well as by a summary of relevant theories.
Abstract: There are questions about the measurability of the costs of environmental control, especially in the case of integrated environmental provisions. In order to answer these questions a classification is made of possible reactions to environmental regulations, followed by an analysis of the measurability of each category. Some of the provisions turn out to be hypothetical and therefore their costs are impossible to measure. When environmental control was introduced, the unknown part of the ensuing costs was negligible. However, the unknown part will increase due to technological development induced by environmental regulations. The conclusion of this article is that surveys…of the costs of environmental control can give a reliable and useful picture as long as environmental standards are relatively new or operative only in a few countries. When standards have already been established for some time or are the same in comparable countries, surveys of the costs of environmental control will lose their value.
Abstract: Time use studies are conducted in many industrialized countries. The necessity of a time and activity oriented observation of human social life in the form of representative data collection is broadly accepted, but in terms of declaration we also have to focus on the limits of such data. In the Federal Republic of Germany, a nation-wide time use survey is being conducted for the first time, covering 6 400 households. The contribution will first demonstrate the objectives and background of the German study. Then the survey design chosen will be explained and the current state of progress will be…presented. Finally, possible evaluation concepts will be discussed.