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A guide to the use of chain aggregated NIPA data

Listed author(s):
  • Karl Whelan

In 1996, the U.S. Department of Commerce began using a new method to construct all aggregate "real" series in the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA). This method employs the so-called "ideal chain index" pioneered by Irving Fisher. The new methodology has some extremely important implications that are unfamiliar to many practicing empirical economists; as a result, mistaken calculations with NIPA data have become very common. This paper explains the motivation for the switch to chain aggregation and then illustrates the usage of chain-aggregated data with three topical examples, each relating to a different aspect of how information technologies are changing the economy.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/253
File Function: First version, 2000
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by School of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Open Access publications with number 10197/253.

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Date of creation: Jun 2000
Handle: RePEc:ucn:oapubs:10197/253
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Web page: http://www.ucd.ie/economics

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  1. Tevlin, Stacey & Whelan, Karl, 2003. " Explaining the Investment Boom of the 1990s," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(1), pages 1-22, February.
  2. Dale W. Jorgenson & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2000. "Raising the Speed Limit: U.S. Economic Growth in the Information Age," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 125-236.
  3. Boyan Jovanovic & Jeremy Greenwood, 1999. "The Information-Technology Revolution and the Stock Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 116-122, May.
  4. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
  5. Karl Whelan, 2002. "Computers, Obsolescence, And Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 445-461, August.
  6. Michael J. Boskin, 1998. "Consumer Prices, the Consumer Price Index, and the Cost of Living," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 3-26, Winter.
  7. 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.
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