The Québec input-output model celebrates its 50th anniversary

Québec, December 6, 2017. – From François Quesnay, physiocrat, who built the first social accounting matrix, to John Maynard Keynes, one of the fathers of national economic accounts, economists have always tried to formalize how the economy works. This desire to understand and map the interrelationships that govern economic systems culminated with the work of a Russian-American economist, Wassily Leontief, a professor at Harvard University.

In Québec, work on the Québec input-output model, developed at the Bureau de la statistique du Québec, dates back to the early 1960s. Professors André Raynauld, Marcel Dagenais and Tadek Matuszewski contributed to the development of an economic accountability system that combined an input-output table with an econometric model to measure the economic impact of various spending projects, including investment expenditures.

In October 1967, the model was tested for the first time for the Ministère de l’Industrie et du Commerce, in the presence of Wassily Leontief and Tadek Matuszewski. That first test consisted in simulating the impact of building one of Hydro-Québec’s dams on the Québec economy. The input-output table’s usefulness needed no further demonstration, and from then on, the model was updated regularly.

In 2017, 50 years after its creation and after more than 15,000 simulations, the Québec input-output model remains as relevant as ever, and the Institut de la statistique du Québec continues to develop and improve it.

This is why, in a context where sustainable development and the environment are becoming increasingly important, the Institut is currently working on using the model to estimate not only an expenditure’s economic impact, but also the resulting energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. These new data will be produced upon request starting in 2018 and will add value to the model’s economic results, providing decision makers with information that is becoming increasingly essential to support informed decision making.


The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyzes and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is responsible for carrying out all statistical surveys of general interest. The relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.

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