The use of Applied General Equilibrium (AGE) models to contribute to discussions on economic growth and poverty alleviation in less developed countries has become widespread, particularly as data collection capabilities have improved over the past several years. Nevertheless the existence of a Social Accounting Matrix (SAM), the central source of data for any AGE model, remains lacking for many developing countries, often rendering the AGE exercise impractical in such cases.
This paper details the construction of a SAM for a particularly data-challenged context, that of Chad. The SAM was built for use in an AGE model that looks at the interactions between Chad’s oil revenue spending decisions and subsequent impacts on economic growth and household welfare. The resulting SAM is the only publically available example for Chad to account for economic flows at the dawn of the country’s oil economy. The paper offers the AGE researcher interested in data-poor countries an example of a strategy to weave together sparsely available information into a SAM of sufficient credibility as input to a model.