This page provides access to papers and presentations prepared by BEA staff. Abstracts are presented in HTML format; complete papers are in PDF format with selected tables in XLS format. 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.

How Should We Measure Infrastructure? The Case of Highways and Streets

The recent debates on infrastructure spending have led to renewed interest in the measurement of infrastructure and its effects on growth and wellbeing. This paper updates estimates of one important type of infrastructure capital—highways and streets. We compare BEA’s capital measures with more… Read more

Robert Kornfeld, Barbara M. Fraumeni
JEL Code(s)E01

Economies of scope and relational contracts: Exploring global value chains in the automotive industry

Most economic theories of value-chain governance examine one transaction at a time and focus on transaction type as the key determinant of governance. We instead consider several transactions jointly, suggesting that lead firms experience economies of scope in developing relational contracts… Read more

Susan Helper, Abdul Munasib
JEL Code(s)D24

Banff or Simputation? Assessing Alternative Approaches to the Imputation of Missing and Erroneous Data on BEA’s Multinational Enterprise Surveys

BEA employs automated data editing and imputation systems to process a subset of its multinational enterprise (MNE) surveys. Until recently, all of the auto-editing systems used at BEA were built around the Banff system for data editing and imputation produced by Statistics Canada, which runs in… Read more

Larkin Terrie
JEL Code(s)F23

Theoretical Inflation for Unavailable Products

Theoretical inflation diverges from official price statistics when products are unavailable due to stay-in-place behavior or due to stockouts caused by supply chain disruptions. In this paper, the word “theoretical inflation” designates inflation that is consistent with price measurement theory… Read more

Rachel Soloveichik
JEL Code(s)E31

Outlet Substitution Bias Estimates for Ride Sharing and Taxi Rides in New York City

The arrival of new merchants poses problems for measuring inflation, and many think the resulting biases in the official statistics are nontrivial. The BLS methods treat identical commodities sold by different merchants as distinct, different goods but to the extent the goods are close… Read more

Ana M. Aizcorbe
JEL Code(s)C43, E31

The Feasibility of a Quarterly Distribution of Personal Income

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) conducted a feasibility study to evaluate whether it is possible to produce a quarterly distribution of personal income and construct inequality metrics that are valid, informative, and transparent. The primary obstacles to producing such estimates are… Read more

Dennis J. Fixler, Marina Gindelsky, Robert Kornfeld
JEL Code(s)C81, C82, D31, E01

The Contribution of Reallocation to U.S. GDP Growth: Measurement Using Tiered Aggregation

Resources moving from less productive to more productive sectors can increase aggregate output without any underlying change in production technology, yet the impact of these reallocations is challenging to measure because it involves measuring unobserved counterfactual production where… Read more

Jon D. Samuels, Mun S. Ho
JEL Code(s)E01

Tracking Cultivated Assets in Measures of Capital

Americans invested $72 billion in cultivated assets in 2019.  By category, investment was: $7 billion in long-lived food animals, $2 billion in horses, $10 billion in farm plants, and $53 billion in landscaping plants.  System of National Accounts 2008, the internationally agreed… Read more

Rachel Soloveichik
JEL Code(s)E01, O17, Q1

Tracking Marijuana in the National Accounts

The internationally agreed guidelines for national economic accounts, System of National Accounts 2008 (United Nations Statistics Division 2008), explicitly recommend that illegal market activity should be tracked together with legal market activity. This recommendation is not currently… Read more

Rachel Soloveichik
JEL Code(s)E01, O17, Q19

Estimating Regional Price Parities Using New Data on Medical Goods and Services

I report on a project to improve estimates of Regional Price Parities (RPPs) by making use of a large commercial dataset on health care prices, the Health Marketscan dataset. Using the new data, I obtain estimates of regional price levels for health related goods and services that are stable… Read more

James P. Choy
JEL Code(s)E31