Benefits of Creating Financial Accounts from Household Surveys

Krislert Samphantharak
Robert M. Townsend
Publication Type: 
CFSP Concept Notes
Publication Article File: 
Publication Year: 

Financial accounts are a well-developed tool for analyzing and managing corporations. Balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements enable businesses to get a handle on how effectively assets are being used and to make adjustments to become more efficient. They are the basis as well for deriving national income accounts that help governments formulate fiscal and macroeconomic policy.

This CSFP Concept Note describes a method to create financial accounts for households based on a series of ongoing surveys in Thailand. It applies the relatively new concept of “household finance” to developing countries. Until now the term was used largely when examining how households in developed economies used financial instruments to attain their objectives. This type of study is crucial for households running businesses and farms in developing countries, where financial markets are often problematic and household consumption, investment, and production decisions are difficult to parse out between business and personal.