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Does GNP Exaggerate Growth in "Actual" Output? The Case of the United States

  • Fuess, Scott M, Jr
  • Van den Berg, Hendrik

Measures of national product can be misleading because there is nonmarket production. There are also distortions due to transactional activities, which are expenditures to support transactions, not actual output consumed. For 1950-89, this study recalculates output for the United States, adjusting for transactional activities and nonmarket production. Due to relatively rapid growth in transactional activities, GNP overstates output growth in the 1950s; because there was slow expansion of transaction activities in the early 1970s, GNP understates actual output. Since 1974, increases in transactional activities and shifts to market production lead GNP to exaggerate improvement of 'actual' output per capita. Copyright 1996 by The International Association for Research in Income and Wealth.

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Article provided by International Association for Research in Income and Wealth in its journal Review of Income & Wealth.

Volume (Year): 42 (1996)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 35-48

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Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:42:y:1996:i:1:p:35-48
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