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Are National Accounts Revisions Harmful for Historical Comparisons?


  • Dieter Brümmerhoff
  • Michael Grömling


Revisions of national accounts affect economic analysis, calling into question theoretical findings based on earlier data. Revisions to German national accounts have resulted in a markedly higher GDP in absolute terms and a lower volatility in macroeconomic production. According to the revised data, recessions have been less pronounced. Moreover, less volatility in production has changed income accounts and, above all, reduced the fluctuations in property and entrepreneurial income. The stylised fact of declining property and entrepreneurial incomes during recessions in West Germany from 1970 to 1991 has vanished into thin air as a result of the revisions of 2002 and 2006.

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  • Dieter Brümmerhoff & Michael Grömling, 2012. "Are National Accounts Revisions Harmful for Historical Comparisons?," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 13(4), pages 79-98, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:wej:wldecn:538

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