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Computer Price Indices and International Growth and Productivity Comparisons


  • Schreyer, Paul


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. Copyright 2002 by The International Association for Research in Income and Wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Schreyer, Paul, 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

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Miles Corak, 2005. "Principles and Practicalities for Measuring Child Poverty in Rich Countries," LIS Working papers 406, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    2. Wen Hao Chen & Miles Corak, 2005. "Child Poverty and Changes in Child Poverty in Rich Countries since 1990," LIS Working papers 405, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
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    7. Miles Corak & Christine Lietz & Holly Sutherland, 2005. "The Impact of Tax and Transfer Systems on Children in the European Union," Papers inwopa05/30, Innocenti Working Papers.
    8. Jenkins, Stephen P. & Schluter, Christian, 2001. "Why are child poverty rates higher in Britain than in Germany? a longitudinal perspective -working paper-," ISER Working Paper Series 2001-16, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    9. Lundberg, S.J. & Pollak, R.A. & Wales, T.J., 1994. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from U.K. Child Benefit," Working Papers 94-6, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
    10. Miles Corak & *UNICEF, 2005. "Principles and Practicalities in Measuring Child Poverty for the Rich Countries," Papers inwopa05/27, Innocenti Working Papers.
    11. Shelley A. Phipps & Peter S. Burton, 1995. "Sharing within Families: Implications for the Measurement of Poverty among Individuals in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(1), pages 177-204, February.
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