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Jel Classification:E01 

Working Paper
ICT Asset Prices : Marshaling Evidence into New Measures

This paper is a companion to our recent paper, "ICT Prices and ICT Services: What do they tell us about Productivity and Technology?" It provides the sources and methods used to construct national accounts-style price deflators for the major components of ICT investment--communications equipment, computer equipment, and software--that were presented and analyzed in that paper. The ICT equipment measures described herein were also used in Byrne, Fernald, and Reinsdorf (2016). This paper is a companion to our recent paper, "ICT Services and their Prices: What do they tell us about ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-016

Working Paper
The Digital Economy and Productivity

After reviewing the state of digitalization---the use of digital information technology (IT) throughout the economy---we consider the slippery concept of a distinct digital economy and efforts to record it in national accounts. We then anchor the digital economy in a growth accounting framework, augmenting the conventional measure of the IT contribution to productivity---innovation in the production of IT capital plus labor-saving use of IT throughout the economy---with the contribution from the digital platforms that help users navigate the sprawling information landscape. We discuss the ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2022-038

Working Paper
Reconciled Estimates of Monthly GDP in the US

In the US, income and expenditure-side estimates of GDP (GDPI and GDPE) measure "true" GDP with error and are available at a quarterly frequency. Methods exist for using these proxies to produce reconciled quarterly estimates of true GDP. In this paper, we extend these methods to provide reconciled historical true GDP estimates at a monthly frequency. We do this using a Bayesian mixed frequency vector autoregression (MF-VAR) involving GDPE, GDPI, unobserved true GDP, and monthly indicators of short-term economic activity. Our MF-VAR imposes restrictions that reflect a measurement-error ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-01

Newer need not be better: evaluating the Penn World Tables and the World Development Indicators using nighttime lights

Nighttime lights data are a measure of economic activity whose measurement error is plausibly independent of the errors of most conventional indicators. Therefore, we can use nighttime lights as an independent benchmark to assess existing measures of economic activity (Pinkovskiy and Sala-i-Martin 2016). We employ this insight to find out which vintages of the Penn World Tables (PWT) and of the World Development Indicators (WDI) better estimate true income per capita. We find that revisions of the PWT do not necessarily dominate their predecessors in terms of explaining nighttime lights (and ...
Staff Reports , Paper 778

Working Paper
Communicating Data Uncertainty: Multi-Wave Experimental Evidence for UK GDP

Economic statistics are commonly published without estimates of their uncertainty. We conduct two waves of a randomized controlled online experiment to assess if and how the UK public understands data uncertainty. A control group observes only the point estimate of GDP. Treatment groups are presented with alternative qualitative and quantitative communications of GDP data uncertainty. We find that most of the public understands that GDP numbers are uncertain. Quantitative communications of data uncertainty help align the public’s subjective probabilistic expectations of data uncertainty ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-28R

Working Paper
Forecasting GDP Growth with NIPA Aggregates

Beyond GDP, which is measured using expenditure data, the U.S. national income and product accounts (NIPAs) provide an income-based measure of the economy (gross domestic income, or GDI), a measure that averages GDP and GDI, and various aggregates that include combinations of GDP components. This paper compiles real-time data on a variety of NIPA aggregates and uses these in simple time-series models to construct out-of-sample forecasts for GDP growth. Over short forecast horizons, NIPA aggregates?particularly consumption and GDP less inventories and trade?together with these simple ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1708

Working Paper
Inflation Globally

The Phillips curve remains central to stabilization policy. Increasing financial linkages, international supply chains, and managed exchange rate policy have given core currencies an outsized influence on the domestic affairs of world economies. We exploit such influence as a source of exogenous variation to examine the effects of the recent financial crisis on the Phillips curve mechanism. Using a difference-in-differences approach, and comparing countries before and after the 2008 financial crisis sorted by whether they endured or escaped the crisis, we are able to assess the evolution of ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2018-15

Journal Article
Industrial production and capacity utilization: the 2008 annual revision

On March 28, 2008, the Federal Reserve published revisions to its index of industrial production (IP) and the related measures of capacity and capacity utilization. Although the revision affected the data from January 1972 through February 2008, most of the changes were for the period beginning in 2003. Relative to earlier estimates, measured from fourth quarter to fourth quarter, IP is now reported to have increased more slowly in 2006, but changes to output gains in other years since 2003 were more modest. The period from 2003 through 2007 was marked by a steady, moderate rise in industrial ...
Federal Reserve Bulletin , Volume 94 , Issue Aug , Pages A41-A60

Working Paper
Productivity in the World Economy During and After the Pandemic

This paper reviews how productivity has evolved around the world since the pandemic began in 2020. Productivity in many countries has been volatile. We conclude that the broad contours of productivity growth during this period have been heavily shaped by predictable cyclical patterns. Looking at U.S. industry data, we find little evidence that the sharp rise in telework has had a notable impact, good or bad, on productivity. Stepping back, the data so far appear consistent with a continuation of the slow-productivity-growth trajectory that we faced before the pandemic.
Working Paper Series , Paper 2023-29

Working Paper
Introducing the Distributional Financial Accounts of the United States

This paper describes the construction of the Distributional Financial Accounts (DFAs), a new dataset containing quarterly estimates of the distribution of U.S. household wealth since 1989, and provides the first look at the resulting data. The DFAs build on two existing Federal Reserve Board statistical products --- quarterly aggregate measures of household wealth from the Financial Accounts of the United States and triennial wealth distribution measures from the Survey of Consumer Finances --- to incorporate distributional information into a national accounting framework. The DFAs complement ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-017


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