Reconstruction of an Input-Output Table for Germany in 1936: Conceptual and Empirical-Statistical Problems

Fremdling, R. & Staeglin, R., 2012, Groningen: GGDC, 15 p. (GGDC Working Papers; vol. GD-129).

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The objective of this contribution is to present the final results of a long-term research project which aimed at constructing an input-output table for Germany in 1936. Our research can be seen as follow-up of the activities of the German Imperial Statistical Office (Statistisches Reichsamt) which worked on a “matrix of economic interdependencies” (Volkswirtschaftliche erflechtungstabelle) for Germany as early as in the thirties of the last century. The symmetric table for 1936 is completely based on original statistical data and does not refer to separate supply and use tables. The input-output table for Germany in 1936 covers 40 branches. This paper depicts its aggregated version with 13 sectors, five final demand categories and five primary inputs. Government is placed as an intermediate sector into quadrant I. In quadrant II it appears with only one figure (government gross production minus fees for specific government services). Government is delimitated into three subsectors as can be seen from Table 1: public administration, military spending and social security. In addition, public investment for civilian purposes is assigned to the investment vector of quadrant II. Military expenditure, however, is treated as government consumption and not as investment. The input-output table offers a new benchmark for gross domestic product and thus income, expenditure and production of the German Empire in 1936. We found a comparably high level of GDP and a significantly higher mixed income/operating surplus which confirms rudimentary and qualitative evidence on exceptionally high incomes and hidden profits of armament industry. Due to our unique production approach of calculating GDP these hidden profits could be revealed.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGroningen
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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NameGGDC Working Papers

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