IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/25695.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

GDP-B: Accounting for the Value of New and Free Goods in the Digital Economy

Author

Listed:
  • Erik Brynjolfsson
  • Avinash Collis
  • W. Erwin Diewert
  • Felix Eggers
  • Kevin J. Fox

Abstract

The welfare contributions of the digital economy, characterized by the proliferation of new and free goods, are not well-measured in our current national accounts. We derive explicit terms for the welfare contributions of these goods and introduce a new metric, GDP-B which quantifies their benefits, rather than costs. We apply this framework to several empirical examples including Facebook and smartphone cameras and estimate their valuations through incentive compatible choice experiments. For example, including the welfare gains from Facebook would have added between 0.05 and 0.11 percentage points to GDP-B growth per year in the US.

Suggested Citation

  • Erik Brynjolfsson & Avinash Collis & W. Erwin Diewert & Felix Eggers & Kevin J. Fox, 2019. "GDP-B: Accounting for the Value of New and Free Goods in the Digital Economy," NBER Working Papers 25695, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25695
    Note: DAE EFG PR
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w25695.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert J. Gordon, 2016. "The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10544.
    2. Brynjolfsson, Erik, 2013. "Wired for Innovation: How Information Technology Is Reshaping the Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262518611.
    3. Greenstein, Shane & McDevitt, Ryan C., 2011. "The broadband bonus: Estimating broadband Internet's economic value," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 617-632, August.
    4. Charles I. Jones & Peter J. Klenow, 2016. "Beyond GDP? Welfare across Countries and Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(9), pages 2426-2457, September.
    5. Feenstra, Robert C, 1994. "New Product Varieties and the Measurement of International Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 157-177, March.
    6. Diewert, W, Erwin & Feenstra, Robert, 2017. "Estimating the Benefits and Costs of New and Disappearing Products," Microeconomics.ca working papers tina_marandola-2017-12, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 19 Dec 2017.
    7. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Robert J. Gordon, 1996. "The Economics of New Goods," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bres96-1, March.
    8. David M. Byrne & John G. Fernald & Marshall B. Reinsdorf, 2016. "Does the United States Have a Productivity Slowdown or a Measurement Problem?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 47(1 (Spring), pages 109-182.
    9. Hunt Allcott & Luca Braghieri & Sarah Eichmeyer & Matthew Gentzkow, 2020. "The Welfare Effects of Social Media," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 110(3), pages 629-676, March.
    10. William D. Nordhaus, 2004. "Schumpeterian Profits in the American Economy: Theory and Measurement," NBER Working Papers 10433, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Erik Brynjolfsson & Avinash Collis & Felix Eggers, 2019. "Using massive online choice experiments to measure changes in well-being," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 116(15), pages 7250-7255, April.
    12. Diewert, Erwin, 2009. "Cost of Living Indexes and Exact Index Numbers," Economics working papers erwin_diewert-2009-6, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 13 Feb 2009.
    13. Martin Feldstein, 2017. "Underestimating the Real Growth of GDP, Personal Income, and Productivity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 145-164, Spring.
    14. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2018. "Production and Welfare: Progress in Economic Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(3), pages 867-919, September.
    15. Erica L. Groshen & Brian C. Moyer & Ana M. Aizcorbe & Ralph Bradley & David M. Friedman, 2017. "How Government Statistics Adjust for Potential Biases from Quality Change and New Goods in an Age of Digital Technologies: A View from the Trenches," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 187-210, Spring.
    16. Harberger, Arnold C, 1971. "Three Basic Postulates for Applied Welfare Economics: An Interpretive Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 785-797, September.
    17. Nadim Ahmad & Paul Schreyer, 2016. "Measuring GDP in a Digitalised Economy," OECD Statistics Working Papers 2016/7, OECD Publishing.
    18. Chad Syverson, 2017. "Challenges to Mismeasurement Explanations for the US Productivity Slowdown," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 165-186, Spring.
    19. Richard T. Carson & Theodore Groves & John A. List, 2014. "Consequentiality: A Theoretical and Experimental Exploration of a Single Binary Choice," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 171-207.
    20. Ulrich R. Kohli, 1982. "Relative Price Effects and the Demand for Imports," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(2), pages 205-219, May.
    21. Austan D. Goolsbee & Peter J. Klenow, 2018. "Internet Rising, Prices Falling: Measuring Inflation in a World of E-Commerce," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 108, pages 488-492, May.
    22. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
    23. W. Erwin Diewert, 1980. "Aggregation Problems in the Measurement of Capital," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Capital, pages 433-538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Usher, Dan (ed.), 1980. "The Measurement of Capital," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226843001, March.
    25. W. Erwin Diewert, 2005. "Index Number Theory Using Differences Rather Than Ratios," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(1), pages 311-360, January.
    26. Joel Mokyr & Chris Vickers & Nicolas L. Ziebarth, 2015. "The History of Technological Anxiety and the Future of Economic Growth: Is This Time Different?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 31-50, Summer.
    27. W. Erwin Diewert, 1998. "Index Number Issues in the Consumer Price Index," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 47-58, Winter.
    28. Samuelson, Paul A, 1974. "Complementarity-An Essay on the 40th Anniversary of the Hicks-Allen Revolution in Demand Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 1255-1289, December.
    29. Hausman, Jerry A, 1981. "Exact Consumer's Surplus and Deadweight Loss," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 662-676, September.
    30. Dan Usher, 1980. "The Measurement of Capital," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ushe80-1, March.
    31. Erik Brynjolfsson & Felix Eggers & Avinash Gannamaneni, 2018. "Measuring Welfare with Massive Online Choice Experiments: A Brief Introduction," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 108, pages 473-476, May.
    32. Austan D. Goolsbee & Peter J. Klenow, 2018. "Internet Rising, Prices Falling: Measuring Inflation in a World of E-Commerce," NBER Working Papers 24649, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Diane Coyle & David Nguyen, 2020. "Valuing Goods Online and Offline: the Impact of Covid-19," Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE) Discussion Papers ESCoE DP-2020-10, Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE).
    2. Ryan Martin, 2020. "Identifying Consumer-Welfare Changes when Online Search Platforms Change Their List of Search Results," Staff Working Papers 20-5, Bank of Canada.
    3. Byrne, David M. & Corrado, Carol A., 2020. "The increasing deflationary influence of consumer digital access services," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 196(C).
    4. David Byrne & Carol Corrado, 2020. "Accounting for Innovations in Consumer Digital Services: IT Still Matters," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring and Accounting for Innovation in the Twenty-First Century, pages 471-517, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Daniel Sichel & Eric von Hippel, 2021. "Household Innovation and R&D: Bigger than You Think," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 67(3), pages 639-658, September.
    6. Boppart, Timo & Li, Huiyu, 2021. "Productivity slowdown: reducing the measure of our ignorance," CEPR Discussion Papers 16478, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Dr. Cesar R Salas-Guerra, 2021. "Impact of digital economic activity on regional economic growth: A Case study from northern Minas Gerais between 2009 To 2018," Papers 2105.02849, arXiv.org.
    8. Geoffrey Parker & Georgios Petropoulos & Marshall Van Alstyne, 2021. "Platform mergers and antitrust [Ex-post assessment of merger control decisions in digital markets]," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(5), pages 1307-1336.
    9. Alexandre Bourgeois, 2020. "Free Services from the Digital Economy: Do We Need to Measure Their Value and How?," Economie et Statistique / Economics and Statistics, Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques (INSEE), issue 517-518-5, pages 157-172.
    10. Richard Davies, 2021. "Prices and inflation in the UK - A new dataset," CEP Occasional Papers 55, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    11. Robert Bucknall & Stephen Christie & Richard Heys & Cliodhna Taylor, 2021. "GDP and Welfare: Empirical Estimates of a Spectrum of Opportunity," Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE) Discussion Papers ESCoE DP-2021-08, Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE).
    12. MARTENS Bertin, 2020. "An economic perspective on data and platform market power," JRC Working Papers on Digital Economy 2020-09, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    13. Diane Coyle & David Nguyen, 2020. "Free goods and economic welfare," Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE) Discussion Papers ESCoE DP-2020-18, Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE).
    14. David M. Cutler & Kaushik Ghosh & Kassandra Messer & Trivellore Raghunathan & Allison B. Rosen & Susan T. Stewart, 2020. "A Satellite Account for Health in the United States," NBER Working Papers 27848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Bertin Martens & Alexandre de Streel & Inge Graef & Thomas Tombal & Nestor Duch-Brown, 2020. "Business-to-Business data sharing: An economic and legal analysis," JRC Working Papers on Digital Economy 2020-05, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    16. Ricky N. Lawton & Daniel Fujiwara & Ulrike Hotopp, 2022. "The value of digital archive film history: willingness to pay for film online heritage archival access," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 46(1), pages 165-197, March.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Diewert, Erwin & Fox, Kevin J., 2019. "Productivity Indexes and National Statistics: Theory, Methods and Challenges," Microeconomics.ca working papers erwin_diewert-2019-8, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 25 Apr 2019.
    2. Diewert, Erwin & FOX, Kevin J. Fox & SCHREYER, Paul, 2017. "The Digital Economy, New Products and Consumer Welfare," Microeconomics.ca working papers erwin_diewert-2017-12, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 14 Dec 2017.
    3. Goldin, Ian & Koutroumpis, Pantelis & Lafond, François & Winkler, Julian, 2020. "Why is productivity slowing down?," MPRA Paper 99172, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Diewert, Erwin & Feenstra, Robert, 2019. "Estimating the Benefits of New Products: Some Approximations," Microeconomics.ca working papers erwin_diewert-2019-3, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 13 Mar 2019.
    5. W. Erwin Diewert & Robert C. Feenstra, 2021. "Estimating the Benefits of New Products," NBER Chapters, in: Big Data for Twenty-First-Century Economic Statistics, pages 437-473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Diewert, Erwin, 2019. "Quality Adjustment and Hedonics: A Unified Approach," Microeconomics.ca working papers erwin_diewert-2019-2, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 14 Mar 2019.
    7. Lafond, François & Goldin, Ian & Koutroumpis, Pantelis & Winkler, Julian, 2022. "Why is productivity slowing down?," INET Oxford Working Papers 2022-08, Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford.
    8. Diewert, W, Erwin & Feenstra, Robert, 2017. "Estimating the Benefits and Costs of New and Disappearing Products," Microeconomics.ca working papers tina_marandola-2017-12, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 19 Dec 2017.
    9. Jerry Hausman, 2002. "Sources of Bias and Solutions to Bias in the CPI," NBER Working Papers 9298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Jerry Hausman, 2003. "Sources of Bias and Solutions to Bias in the Consumer Price Index," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 23-44, Winter.
    11. Nicholas Oulton, 2018. "GDP and the System of National Accounts: Past, Present and Future," Discussion Papers 1802, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM), revised Jun 2018.
    12. Abe Dunn & Anne Hall & Seidu Dauda, 2022. "Are Medical Care Prices Still Declining? A Re‐Examination Based on Cost‐Effectiveness Studies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 90(2), pages 859-886, March.
    13. Charles Hulten & Leonard I. Nakamura, 2020. "Expanded GDP for Welfare Measurement in the 21st Century," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring and Accounting for Innovation in the Twenty-First Century, pages 19-59, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Erik Brynjolfsson & Avinash Collis & Felix Eggers, 2019. "Using massive online choice experiments to measure changes in well-being," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 116(15), pages 7250-7255, April.
    15. Diewert, W. Erwin, 2017. "Productivity Measurement in the Public Sector: Theory and Practice," Microeconomics.ca working papers erwin_diewert-2017-1, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 02 Feb 2017.
    16. Anderton, Robert & Jarvis, Valerie & Labhard, Vincent & Morgan, Julian & Petroulakis, Filippos & Vivian, Lara, 2020. "Virtually everywhere? Digitalisation and the euro area and EU economies," Occasional Paper Series 244, European Central Bank.
    17. W. Erwin Diewert & Kevin J. Fox, 2017. "Decomposing Value Added Growth into Explanatory Factors," Discussion Papers 2017-02, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    18. Diewert, W. Erwin & Fox, Kevin J., 2016. "Kevin J. Fox Interview of W. Erwin Diewert," Microeconomics.ca working papers erwin_diewert-2016-6, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 02 Jun 2016.
    19. Stephen J Redding & David E Weinstein, 2020. "Measuring Aggregate Price Indices with Taste Shocks: Theory and Evidence for CES Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 135(1), pages 503-560.
    20. Leonard I. Nakamura, 2020. "Evidence of Accelerating Mismeasurement of Growth and Inflation in the U.S. in the 21st Century," Working Papers 20-41, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25695. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.