Some Theoretical Thoughts on Constructing a Poverty-Eliminating Social Accounts Bill of Goods

Walter Isard 1 , 1  und Tadayuki Hara 2 , 2
  • 1 Cornell University
  • 2 Cornell University

It is unnecessary for us to point out that there has emerged a new type of warfare that is employed by terrorist organizations and that the continued and even greater poverty conditions of many regions of the world contribute to the growth of the terrorists' activities. This negative outcome has suggested to us the importance of eliminating as much as possible the extent of poverty among these regions, and ideally of course to eliminate all poverty.

This is a major task. In essence the problem is to establish what may be designated a poverty-eliminating Bill of Goods for these regions. Unfortunately the Social Accounts data are scarce for constructing such a Bill of Goods. However, until we can do so, even crudely, we can hardly proceed with this goal of eliminating poverty. In our search for data, we have found little adequate materials. For the United States an excellent set of consumption coefficients by income group and major categories of commodities has been developed by Rose and Beaumont (1989). In addition there are extensive social accounts data developed by Thorbecke, his associates and students, and by others (Thorbecke 1998). Further, much data work has been done by the IMPLAN Group (2000). These record the consumption (expenditure) data by income class or institutions and often proceed to examine poverty alleviation policies. However, they say relatively little about poverty elimination based on the construction of relevant Bills of Goods for poverty groups.

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