We can apply structural path analysis at the one-digit NAICS sector detail from social accounts of the US and regional economies to outline the supply chain from a given sector as a flow of products and by-products between sectors to consumers.

Defourny and Thorbecke (1984) assert that embedded within the multi-sector social accounts of a Leontief input-output model, the supply chains of each sector exists. They used a technique called structural path analysis to prove their assertion. This technique uses a disaggregated cofactor element in an adjoint (I-A) matrix to estimate the flow from the source industry used as input into other destination industries' production functions as they provide finished goods to end-use consumers.

For data, we use the most current regional social accounting data (2013) for US states and counties, as well as regional social accounting data from a past time period (2007). This will allow comparisons across time between local supply chain markets and national supply chain markets.

For example, Oshita and Kikuchi (2014) have shown by using structural path analysis that the flow of natural resource products is complex as its products and by-products are used by many sectors before reaching the consumer. We can produce Sankey diagrams to visualize current products supply chain by county, state or region within the US. Structural path analysis has been applied to problems such as tracking pollution, the flow of CO2 emissions, disaster relief planning and to understanding global supply chains.


Defourny, J. and E. Thorbecke (1984). "Structural Path Analysis and Multiplier Decomposition within a Social Accounting Matrix Framework." The Economic Journal 94(373): 111-136.

Oshita, Y. (2012). "Identifying critical supply chain paths that drive changes in CO2 emissions." Energy Economics 34(4): 1041-1050.

Oshita, Y. and Y. Kikuchi 229. Flow Analysis on Products of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries Industry using Structural Path Analysis.