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A Comparison of Approaches to Deflating Telecoms Services Output

Author

Listed:
  • Mo Abdirahman
  • Diane Coyle
  • Richard Heys
  • Will Stewart

Abstract

The telecommunications services industry has experienced very large technological progress in the past decades, as measured by technological output metrics. However, the industry’s economic output statistics do not appear to reflect this. Between 2010 and 2015, for example, data usage in the UK expanded by around 900% but real Gross Value Added (GVA) for the industry fell by 4%. While the direction of growth in Telecoms GVA is not the same for all countries, there nonetheless appears to be a wider disconnect between the technological performance and economic measurement of the industry in the UK. This paper argues this can be primarily resolved through strengthening the deflators that are applied to nominal output to produce real GVA. This paper contrasts two methodologically distinct options to estimate the potential bias in the current deflator, informed by both an economic and engineering perspective. Our findings indicate that the current deflator is upward biased and that telecommunications services prices could have fallen between 35% and 90% between 2010 and 2015, considerably more than the current deflator, suggesting the need for continued research in this area.

Suggested Citation

  • Mo Abdirahman & Diane Coyle & Richard Heys & Will Stewart, 2017. "A Comparison of Approaches to Deflating Telecoms Services Output," Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE) Discussion Papers ESCoE DP-2017-04, Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE).
  • Handle: RePEc:nsr:escoed:escoe-dp-2017-04
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nordhaus, William D., 2007. "Two Centuries of Productivity Growth in Computing," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(1), pages 128-159, March.
    2. Greenstein, Shane & McDevitt, Ryan, 2011. "Evidence of a modest price decline in US broadband services," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 200-211, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Goldin, Ian & Koutroumpis, Pantelis & Lafond, François & Winkler, Julian, 2020. "Why is productivity slowing down?," MPRA Paper 99172, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Leonard I. Nakamura, 2020. "Evidence of Accelerating Mismeasurement of Growth and Inflation in the U.S. in the 21st Century," Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE) Discussion Papers ESCoE DP-2020-15, Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE).
    3. Peter Bauer & Igor Fedotenkov & Aurelien Genty & Issam Hallak & Peter Harasztosi & David Martinez Turegano & David Nguyen & Nadir Preziosi & Ana Rincon-Aznar & Miguel Sanchez Martinez, 2020. "Productivity in Europe: Trends and drivers in a service-based economy," JRC Working Papers JRC119785, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    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. Rebecca Riley & Ana Rincon-Aznar & Lea Samek, 2018. "Below the Aggregate: A Sectoral Account of the UK Productivity Puzzle," Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE) Discussion Papers ESCoE DP-2018-06, Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE).
    6. Anderton, Robert & Jarvis, Valerie & Labhard, Vincent & Morgan, Julian, 2020. "Virtually everywhere? Digitalisation and the euro area and EU economies," Occasional Paper Series 244, European Central Bank.
    7. Consolo, Agostino & Cette, Gilbert & Bergeaud, Antonin & Labhard, Vincent & Osbat, Chiara & Kosekova, Stanimira & Anyfantaki, Sofia & Basso, Gaetano & Basso, Henrique & Bobeica, Elena & Ciapanna, Eman, 2021. "Digitalisation: channels, impacts and implications for monetary policy in the euro area," Occasional Paper Series 266, European Central Bank.
    8. Jagjit S. Chadha & Richard Barwell, 2019. "Renewing our Monetary Vows: Open Letters to the Governor of the Bank of England," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Occasional Papers 58, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Deflators; telecommunications and productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality

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