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Author:Nakamura, Leonard I. 

Working Paper
Mismeasured personal saving and the permanent income hypothesis

Is it possible to forecast using poorly measured data? According to the permanent income hypothesis, a low personal saving rate should predict rising future income (Campbell, 1987). However, the U.S. personal saving rate is initially poorly measured and has been repeatedly revised upward in benchmark revisions. The authors use both conventional and real-time estimates of the personal saving rate in vector autoregressions to forecast real disposable income; using the level of the personal saving rate in real time would have almost invariably made forecasts worse, but first differences of the ...
Working Papers , Paper 07-8

Journal Article
The retail revolution and food-price mismeasurement

If a product sells for $3 this week at the local supermarket and $2 next week, what is the "real" price? What if that same product has a different price at a different store? Thanks to scanner technology, food prices differ a lot these days because they can be changed quickly and easily. How do our official statistics take these price movements into account? Not too well, according to Leonard Nakamura. In this article, he describes the retail revolution of recent years and how it has led to mismeasurement of food prices
Business Review , Issue May , Pages 3-14

Working Paper
Banking and finance in Argentina in the period 1900-35

From 1900 to 1935, Argentina evolved from an economy highly dependent on external, primarily British, finance to one more nearly self-sufficient. We examine the failure of domestic finance to adequately fill the void left by the decline of London and the breakdown of the world financial system in the interwar period, when neither the Buenos Aires Bolsa nor the private domestic banks developed rapidly enough to fully replace British investors as efficient channels for financing private investment. One consequence is that Argentine investable funds were increasingly concentrated in a single ...
Center for Latin America Working Papers , Paper 0501

Working Paper
Measuring the “Free” Digital Economy Within the GDP and Productivity Accounts

We develop an experimental methodology that values ?free? digital content through the lens of a production account and is consistent with the framework of the national accounts. We build upon the work in Nakamura, et al. (2016) by combining marketing- and advertising-supported content and find that the impact of ?free? digital content on U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) has accelerated in recent years, particularly since 2005. However, the explosion in ?free? digital content is partially offset by a decrease in ?free? print content like newspapers. Including these, real GDP growth would grow ...
Working Papers , Paper 17-37

Working Paper
Building the Innovation Union: Lessons from the 2008 Financial Crisis

The Innovation Union initiative of the European Union focuses on product and process innovation for tangible goods. The authors argue that it is essential to extend the scope of the initiative to include innovation for financial sector products, processes, and regulatory approaches. They make this argument using examples of financial sector innovations in the United States following the Great Depression and on the basis of an examination of the 2008 financial crisis.
Working Papers , Paper 12-17

Working Paper
Optimal bank closure for deposit insurers

Working Papers , Paper 90-12

Working Paper
Information and screening in real estate finance: an introduction

Working Papers , Paper 94-15

Working Paper
Commercial bank information: implications for the structure of banking

Working Papers , Paper 92-1

Journal Article
Is the U.S. economy really growing too slowly?

Has American economic progress slowed dramatically?or even stopped? Or are the statistics wrong: has the U.S. economy been experiencing strong growth, but our official measures fail to reflect it? In this article, Leonard Nakamura explores how economic progress is measured and discusses some of the policy implications that arise from alternative measures of our rate of growth
Business Review , Issue Mar , Pages 3-14

Working Paper
Measurement of retail output and the retail revolution

The computerization of retailing has made price dispersion a norm in the United States, so that any given list price or transactions price is an increasingly imperfect measure of a product's resource cost. As a consequence, measuring the real output of retailers has become increasingly difficult. Food retailing is used as a case study to examine data problems in retail productivity measurement. Crude direct measures of grocery store output suggest that the CPI for food-at-home may have been overstated by 1.4 percentage points annually from 1978 to 1996.
Working Papers , Paper 98-5

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