Statistics Directorate

Measuring the Non-Observed Economy - A Handbook

 

The non-observed economy comprises production activities that are illegal, underground, informal, or otherwise missed by the statistical system. Unless efforts are made to deal with such activities, economic indicators are under estimated. This can be a serious issue, particularly in transition and emerging economies. Given the miscellany of possible approaches, there is a need to identify and promote international best practice. This is the aim of the Handbook for Measurement of the Non-Observed Economy.

The Handbook has been prepared by a team of experts from the OECD, the International Labour Organisation, the International Monetary Fund, the Interstate Statistical Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Italian National Statistical Institute, Statistics Netherlands, the Russian Federation State Statistical Committee, and the University of Versailles. A working draft of the Handbook was the subject of a Non-Observed Economy Workshop organised jointly by the OECD, Eurostat and the Russian Federation State Statistical Committee in Sochi, October 2000.

Following the publication of several studies on estimates of the underground economy, the international organisations that co-signed the well known "SNA 93" drafted the following official declaration.

 

Download the Handbook (PDF)

 

Complete version

 

 

By chapter

Introduction

 

Conceptual Framework

 

Notions of the Non-Observed Economy

 

Assessment of National Accounts

 

National Accounts Methods to Achieve Exhaustiveness

 

Assessment and Improvement of Data Collection Programme

 

Implementation Strategy

 

Underground Production

 

Illegal Production

 

Informal Sector Production

 

Household Production for Own Final Use

 

Macro-model Methods

 


Annexes

References

 

Glossary

 

Data Requirements and Sources 

 

Analytical Frameworks for the Non-Observed Economy

 

IMF Data Quality Assessment – Generic Framework

 

 

 

Background

 

Sochi workshop

Incorporating feedback from the Sochi Workshop, and from Eurostat and the World Bank, an updated draft of the Handbook was prepared and widely circulated for comments in July 2001. The final draft for printing takes account of all the suggestions. It will be published in print form, jointly authored with the three other international organisations that contributed to its development. It will be made available in English, French, Russian, and (depending upon funding) in Chinese. The English printed version will be available in April, 2002.

Several documents which are forerunners to the Handbook and from which material for the Handbook has been drawn are listed below. The first of these is an OECD publication. The following four are papers that were presented at the session on Principles and Practices in the Measurement of the Unrecorded Economy organised by the OECD at the Second International Conference of Establishment Surveys, Buffalo, June, 2000.

Framework for the Measurement of Unrecorded Economic Activities in Transition Economies , OECD/GD(97)177

A Systematic Approach to the Hidden and Informal Activities , by Ronald Luttikhuizen and Brugt Kazemier, Statistics Netherlands.

The Exhaustiveness of Production Estimates: New Concepts and Methodologies , by Manlio Calzaroni, ISTAT.

Estimation of the Non-Observed Economy: the statistical practices of Russia , by Irina Masakova, State Statistical Committee, Russian Federation.

Principles and Practices in the Measurement of the Unrecorded Economy: Discussant's Remarks , by Michael Colledge, OECD

 

Related Documents

 

The Statistics Brief N. 5, November 2002 - Measuring the Non-Observed Economy

 

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