Economic research is a critical function at the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and is conducted by staff in each of the program offices as well as the Office of the Chief Economist. BEA researchers produce a wide variety of articles, papers, and working papers, as well as regularly participate at professional meetings around the world. BEA researchers also produce a wide variety of methodological and statistical reports to support the continued improvement of the U.S. System of National Accounts.

Within BEA, a substantial number of researchers are actively involved in research on a full slate of issues of interest to the Bureau. BEA encourages these researchers to engage in independent research related to BEA statistics and their uses and supports publication of their work in professional journals and other academic venues.

BEA also supports research by academics on these issues through the Special Sworn Employee program, by making data available, by supporting National Science Foundation (NSF) proposals that deal with issues of interest to us, and by supporting a fellowship program with the American Statistical Association and National Science Foundation.

Latest Research

The views expressed in these papers are solely those of the authors and not necessarily those of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis or the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Including Illegal Activity in the U.S.

The internationally agreed guidelines for national economic accounts, System of National Accounts 2008 (hereafter referred to as SNA 2008) (United Nations Statistics Division 2008), explicitly recommend that illegal market activity should be included in the measured economy. This recommendation… Read more

By Rachel Soloveichik

Are Medical Care Prices Still Declining? A Systematic Examination of Quality-Adjusted Price Index Alternatives for Medical Care

More than two decades ago a well-known study provided evidence from heart attack treatments suggesting that prices in medical care were actually declining, when appropriately adjusted for quality. Our paper revisits this subject looking at a large number of conditions and more recent and more… Read more

By Seidu Dauda, Abe C. Dunn, Anne E. Hall

Accounting for Improved Brick and Mortar Shopping Experiences:

Brick and mortar retailers spent $484 billion providing “free” shopping experiences in 2016. For example, vehicle dealerships provide “free” test drives, book stores provide “free” book signings and grocery stores provide “free” food samples. To capture the value of “free” shopping experiences,… Read more

By Rachel Soloveichik

Improving the measure of the distribution of Personal Income

Developing a national account-based measure of the distribution of income from the commonly used Census based concept of money income has been the subject of earlier research. We use publicly available survey and administrative data to construct a distribution of personal income after enhancing… Read more

By Dennis J. Fixler, Marina Gindelsky, David Johnson