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Three centuries of macro-economic statistics

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  • Bos, Frits

Abstract

This paper describes the history of the national accounts starting from the incidental estimates by Petty, King and Davenant in the seventeenth century. The period 1930-1950 was a revolution in terms of the roles and uses of the national accounts, e.g. the discovery of input-output analysis, purchasing power parities and macro-econometric modelling and the Keynesian revolution in economic thinking. Most of these new uses also reinforced each other. These uses were also closely linked to the economic circumstances: the economic crisis of the thirties, the Second World War and the need for recovery afterwards stimulated an active role of the government. In 1947, for the first time a report on national accounting concepts was published by the UN. Some years later, the first official guidelines were published. Since then, national accounting theory and practice have increasingly been dominated by these guidelines. The period since the Second World War can thus best be labelled as 'the era of the international guidelines'. Many innovations in national accounting have been made since the Second World War. After gaining wider acceptance and maturity, a great deal of them has been included in the guidelines and some others have not. Since the Second World War, the national accounts statistics published by countries all over the world have changed drastically in scope, concepts, frequency and detail. These developments in national accounts practice do not have a straightforward relationship to the international guidelines. Due to the European Unification, the supply of national accounts in Europe has been improved dramatically.

Suggested Citation

  • Bos, Frits, 2011. "Three centuries of macro-economic statistics," MPRA Paper 35391, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:35391
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/35391/1/MPRA_paper_35391.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. A history of national accounting
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-01-19 21:17:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Gilles Saint-Paul, 2013. "Economic Science And Political Influence," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(5), pages 1004-1031, October.
    2. Gilles Saint-Paul, 2012. "Economic Science and Political Influence," Working Papers halshs-00759057, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    History of national accounts; History of input-output analysis; Kuznets; Petty; King; Davenant; Vauban; Quesnay; Fleetwood; Boisguillebert; Keynes; Hicks; Frisch; van Cleeff; Clark; Meade; Stone; Tinbergen; Lindahl; Goldsmith; Copeland; History of international guidelines of national accounting;

    JEL classification:

    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
    • B1 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925
    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O20 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - General
    • B2 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology

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