Aggregation (economy)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In economic theory, aggregation is the combination of several homogeneously defined individual variables into one overall variable in order to gain an overall view.


Economics and business administration differ in particular in the way they are viewed (the so-called knowledge object ). While in business administration the company is of interest as an individual variable and if necessary competitive relationships are examined, macroeconomics considers the overall economy in context. So for them the entire corporate sector of a state is of interest. In macroeconomics, therefore, it is not the level of an individual company or the relationships between companies that is of interest, but the overall economic importance of the corporate sector as a unit. The corporate sector was created from the summary of all corporate balance sheets that were adjusted (consolidated) for mutual relationships that led to double entries. This also applies to all other economic sectors.

The common assumption in economics that there are interrelationships between the aggregated macroeconomic quantities analogous to the microeconomic functions, which can also be represented by functions, leads to the aggregation problem .

Performing the aggregation

Aggregation is the methodological-statistical procedure that leads to this combination of homogeneous individual variables. The methodology provides the feature requirements that are to be placed on individual variables that are defined as homogeneously. For example, if the characteristic requirements include the majority of non-public ownership of a company, then all companies that are mainly publicly owned are to be excluded from aggregation (see public company ). The extent of the aggregation depends on the number of matching features. The more extensive the feature requirements, the smaller the number of aggregable variables and vice versa. Once these feature requirements have been established, appropriate statistical surveys can be carried out in order to achieve the desired level of aggregation. The smallest aggregation level would therefore be a single company, the largest level would be the entire corporate sector in Germany.

One form of aggregation at the smallest aggregation level is Consolidation of all companies belonging to a group in the consolidated financial statements . The feature requirement here is majority participation (full consolidation) and / or associated participation ( equity method ) in group companies . All “ingroup balances” are eliminated for consolidation purposes in order to enable the goal of presenting the “overall balance sheet” of the group without mutual transactions.

This makes it clear that aggregations can lead to loss of information. When economic agents are aggregated into sectors, all transactions that economic agents in one sector undertake with economic agents in other sectors are added up. Similar transactions that are carried out between the economic agents of a sector are offset against each other (consolidated). Only the aggregated intersectoral flows remain. Information about the individual contributions of the individual economic subjects is lost. For example, transactions between two companies, such as the mutual purchase and sale of intermediate services, are offset against each other and are no longer visible after aggregation.


In statistics, this is understood to mean a method for summarizing series or series values ​​to form global variables on the basis of the data that are viewed as macroeconomically aggregatable. The Federal Statistical Office and the Deutsche Bundesbank are institutions that carry out such aggregations. The Federal Statistical Office, for example, on the basis of the Finance and Personnel Statistics Act of December 21, 1992, aggregates the survey of “public finances” as an overall aggregate. For this purpose, it brings together the federal budget , the state budgets, the budgets of the regional authorities , the social security funds, the Bundesbank, state and municipal funds and companies in public and private legal form (with more than 50 percent public participation).

The Deutsche Bundesbank, on the other hand, uses the term “public finances” in its statistics to summarize the state budget, the state budgets, the budgets of the local authorities and the social security funds. It examines the income, expenditure and deficit ratios of the public budgets (in% of gross domestic product ) and the aggregates on which they are based (tax revenues and expenditure structures at all levels). The Bundesbank uses a narrower aggregation, which does not extend to public companies, state and municipal funds and companies in public and private legal form.

This raises the question of why such different levels of aggregation are chosen for the same “public finances” aggregate. The volume of “public finances” at the Federal Statistical Office is greater than at the Bundesbank, so that the two aggregates are not comparable. The reason for this is to be found in the analysis target. The Bundesbank is undoubtedly interested in an exclusive grouping of budget-preparing units, while the Federal Statistical Office, when examining public finances, is concerned with all areas that are to be regarded as public in the broadest sense. Methodologically, aggregation therefore also depends on the research objective. From a methodological point of view, the Federal Office therefore has fewer criteria than the Bundesbank, which is why the number of aggregable variables at the Bundesbank is lower.


Expressed formally, the aggregate is the result of an aggregation carried out. In the economic sense, an aggregate is a total sum made up of several individual data (such as the amount of money ). Partial aggregate is accordingly an already summarized variable (in the example the amount of money M0) which, with other combined variables, results in a total aggregate. For the money supply M1 and the following money supply aggregates M2 and M3 it always applies that the money supply aggregate with a higher number includes the one with a lower number, i.e. a higher level of aggregation is achieved by adding further sub-aggregates. Here, a lower sub-aggregate (e.g. the money supply M0) means closer proximity to real economic transactions with regard to the currency function of money. Therefore, M0 is defined as the currency in circulation outside the banking system ( i.e. non-banks ) including the central bank holdings of credit institutions.


In general, a distinction is made between two units:


The economic aggregates show the result of the economic activities of an economy - viewed from certain points of view - in particular production , value added , disposable income , consumption , saving or investment . Although the formation of aggregates is neither the only nor the most important objective of national accounts , it shows their importance as overall indicators and as reference values ​​for macroeconomic analyzes as well as for temporal and spatial comparisons.

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ In the context of aggregation, consolidation means that transactions between units that belong to the same group are eliminated on both the supply and the usage side as well as reciprocal claims and liabilities
  2. Law on Statistics on Public Finances and Public Service Personnel (Finance and Personnel Statistics Act - FPStatG) (PDF; 44 kB)
  3. Deutsche Bundesbank, Monthly Report February 2012 , p. 59 ff.  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /