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Computer Price Indices and International Growth and Productivity Comparisons

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  • Paul Schreyer

Abstract

Methodologies to derive price indices for information and communication technology (ICT) products vary between national statistical offices. This may lead to significant differences in measured price changes for these products and there has been concern about the international comparability of volume growth rates of GDP between several OECD countries. This article discusses the possible consequences for measures of economic growth of replacing one set of price indices by another one in the framework of national accounts. It is argued that the issue of ICT deflators cannot be dealt with in isolation and several other factors have to be taken into account, in particular whether ICT products are final or intermediate products, whether they are imported or domestically produced and whether national accounts are set up with fixed or chain weighted index numbers. Overall, results point to modest effects at the aggregate GDP level but may be more significant when it comes to component measures such as volume growth of investment, or of output in a particular industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Schreyer, 2002. "Computer Price Indices and International Growth and Productivity Comparisons," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(1), pages 15-31, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:48:y:2002:i:1:p:15-31
    DOI: 10.1111/1475-4991.00038
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-4991.00038
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