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Jel Classification:C82 

Working Paper
Is China fudging its figures? Evidence from trading partner data

How reliable are China?s GDP and other data? We address this question by using trading-partner exports to China as an independent measure of its economic activity from 2000-2014. We find that the information content of Chinese GDP improves markedly after 2008. We also consider a number of plausible, non-GDP indicators of economic activity that have been identified as alternative Chinese output measures. We find that activity factors based on the first principal component of sets of indicators are substantially more informative than GDP alone. The index that best matches activity in-sample ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2015-12

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
Cyclical Lending Standards: A Structural Analysis

Lending standards are a direct measure of credit conditions. We use the micro data merged from three separate sources to construct this measure and document that an uncertain macroeconomic outlook, rather than banks' balance sheet positions, was an important reason that a majority of banks tightened bank lending standards during the Great Recession. Our extensive data analysis disciplines how we introduce credit frictions in the banking sector into a macroeconomic model. The model estimation reveals that an exogenous shock to credit supply drives cyclical lending standards and accounts for a ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2020-6

Working Paper
A contribution to the chronology of turning points in global economic activity (1980-2012)

The Database of Global Economic Indicators (DGEI) of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is aimed at standardizing and disseminating world economic indicators for the study of globalization. It includes a core sample of 40 countries with available indicators and broad coverage for quarterly real GDP, and the monthly series of industrial production (IP), Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), merchandise exports and imports, headline CPI, CPI (ex. food and energy), PPI/WPI inflation, nominal and real exchange rates, and official/policy interest rates (see Grossman, Mack, and Martnez-Garca (2013)). ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 169

Working Paper
Valuing \"Free\" Media in GDP: An Experimental Approach

?Free? consumer entertainment and information from the Internet, largely supported by advertising revenues, has had a major impact on consumer behavior. Some economists believe that measured gross domestic product (GDP) growth is badly underestimated because GDP excludes online entertainment (Brynjolfsson and Oh 2012; Ito 2013; Aeppel 2015). This paper ntroduces an experimental GDP methodology that includes advertising-supported media in both final output and business inputs. For example, Google Maps would be counted as final output when it is used by a consumer to plan vacation driving ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-24

Working Paper
Measuring Aggregate Housing Wealth : New Insights from an Automated Valuation Model

We construct a new measure of aggregate U.S. housing wealth based on Zillow's Automated Valuation Model (AVM). AVMs offer advantages over other methods because they are based on recent market transaction prices, utilize large datasets which include property characteristics and local geographic variables, and are updated frequently with little lag. However, using Zillow's AVM to measure aggregate housing wealth requires overcoming several challenges related to the representativeness of the Zillow sample. We propose methods that address these challenges and generate a new estimate of aggregate ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-064

Working Paper
The system of national accounts and alternative economic perspectives

Brent Moulton and Nicole Mayerhauser (2015) point out that, for more than 50 years, economists have featured the concept of human capital in their models of labor, growth, productivity, and distribution of income. The authors recommend the addition to the System of National Accounts (SNA) of supplemental person-level accounts: i.e., a System of Person Accounts (SPA). They see this as the best way of recognizing the processes of human capital creation as well as related issues of how income is distributed among individuals and families. The authors argue that this change would support three ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-32

Journal Article
The U.S. system for measuring cross-border investment in securities: a primer with a discussion of recent developments

The tremendous growth in cross-border securities investment in recent years has called attention to the systems used by the United States and other countries to measure international securities flows and holdings. Ideally, the data gathered by the United States could tell us the extent to which foreign investors hold U.S. securities, the types of securities held, and the countries in which the securities are held, for example, and could identify trends in investment. This article looks at how well the data shed light on these topics. Special attention is given to the system's design and the ...
Federal Reserve Bulletin , Volume 87 , Issue Oct , Pages 634-650

Working Paper
FRED-QD: A Quarterly Database for Macroeconomic Research

In this paper we present and describe a large quarterly frequency, macroeconomic database. The data provided are closely modeled to that used in Stock and Watson (2012a). As in our previous work on FRED-MD, our goal is simply to provide a publicly available source of macroeconomic “big data” that is updated in real time using the FRED database. We show that factors extracted from this data set exhibit similar behavior to those extracted from the original Stock and Watson data set. The dominant factors are shown to be insensitive to outliers, but outliers do affect the relative influence ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-005

Working Paper
“Free” Internet Content: Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and the Sources of Economic Growth

The Internet has evolved from Web 1.0, with static web pages and limited interactivity, to Web 2.0, with dynamic content that relies on user engagement. This change increased production costs significantly, but the price charged for Internet content has generally remained the same: zero. Because no transaction records the ?purchase? of this content, its value is not reflected in measured growth and productivity. To capture the contribution of the ?free? Internet, we model the provision of ?free? content as a barter transaction between the content users and the content creators, and we value ...
Working Papers , Paper 18-17

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