Some conceptual difficulties regarding 'net' multipliers

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Multipliers are routinely used for impact evaluation of private projects and public policies at the national and subnational levels. Oosterhaven and Stelder (J Reg Sci 42(3), 533-543, 2002) correctly pointed out the misuse of standard 'gross' multipliers and proposed the concept of 'net' multiplier as a solution to this bad practice. We prove their proposal is not well founded. We do so by showing that supporting theorems are faulty in enunciation and demonstration. The proofs are flawed due to an analytical error, but the theorems themselves cannot be salvaged as generic, non-curiosum counterexamples demonstrate. We also provide a general analytical framework for multipliers and, using it, we show that standard 'gross' multipliers are all that are needed within the interindustry model since they follow the causal logic of the economic model, are well-defined and independent of exogenous shocks, and are interpretable as predictors for change. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-552
JournalAnnals of Regional Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013


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  • C67
  • D57
  • R15

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