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Jel Classification:O4 

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

Working Paper
Offshore Profit Shifting and Domestic Productivity Measurement

Official statistics display a significant slowdown in U.S. aggregate productivity growth that begins in 2004. We show how offshore profit shifting by U.S. multinational enterprises affects GDP and, thus, productivity measurement. Under international statistical guidelines, profit shifting causes part of U.S. production generated by multinationals to be excluded from official measures of U.S. production. Profit shifting has increased significantly since the mid-1990s, resulting in lower measures of U.S. aggregate productivity growth. We construct an alternative measure of value added that ...
Working Papers , Paper 751

Working Paper
The Making of an Economic Superpower―Unlocking China’s Secret of Rapid Industrialization

The rise of China is no doubt the most important event in world economic history since the Industrial Revolution. The institutional theory of development based on a dichotomy of extractive vs. inclusive political institutions cannot explain China?s rise. This article argues that only a radical reinterpretation of the history of the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the West (as incorrectly portrayed by the institutional theory) can fully explain China?s growth miracle and why the determined rise of China is unstoppable. Conversely, China?s spectacular and rapid transformation from an ...
Working Papers , Paper 2015-6

Working Paper
Capital goods trade and economic development

We argue that international trade in capital goods has quantitatively important effects on economic development through two channels: (i) capital formation and (ii) aggregate TFP. We embed a multi country, multi sector Ricardian model of trade into a neoclassical growth model. Barriers to trade result in a misallocation of factors both within and across countries. Our model matches several trade and development facts within a unified framework. It is consistent with the world distribution of capital goods production, cross-country differences in investment rate and price of final goods, and ...
Working Papers , Paper 2014-12

Lights, camera,...income! Estimating poverty using national accounts, survey means, and lights

In this paper, we try to understand whether measures of GDP per capita taken from national accounts or measures of mean income or consumption derived from household surveys better proxy for true income per capita. We propose a data-driven method to assess the relative quality of GDP per capita versus survey means by comparing the evolution of each series to the evolution of satellite-recorded nighttime lights. Our main assumption, which is robust to a variety of specification checks, is that the measurement error in nighttime lights is unrelated to the measurement errors in either national ...
Staff Reports , Paper 669

Working Paper
Accounting for Growth in the Age of the Internet The Importance of Output-Saving Technical Change

We extend the conventional Solow growth accounting model to allow innovation to affect consumer welfare directly. Our model is based on Lancaster?s New Approach to Consumer Theory, in which there is a separate ?consumption technology? that transforms the produced goods, measured at production cost, into utility. This technology can shift over time, allowing consumers to make more efficient use of each dollar of income. This is ?output-saving? technical change, in contrast to the Solow TFP ?resource-saving? technical change. One implication of our model is that living standards can rise at a ...
Working Papers , Paper 17-24

Tracking the new economy: using growth theory to detect changes in trend productivity

The acceleration of productivity since 1995 has prompted a debate over whether the economy's underlying growth rate will remain high. In this paper, we propose a methodology for estimating trend growth that draws on growth theory to identify variables other than productivity namely consumption and labor compensation to help estimate trend productivity growth. We treat that trend as a common factor with two "regimes," high-growth and low-growth. Our analysis picks up striking evidence of a switch in the mid-1990s to a higher long-term growth regime, as well as a switch in the early 1970s in ...
Staff Reports , Paper 159

Working Paper
Patents to Products: Product Innovation and Firm Dynamics

We study the relationship between patents and actual product innovation in the market, and how this relationship varies with firms’ market share. We use textual analysis to create a new data set that links patents to products of firms in the consumer goods sector. We find that patent filings are positively associated with subsequent product innovation by firms, but at least half of product innovation and growth comes from firms that never patent. We also find that market leaders use patents differently from followers. Market leaders have lower product innovation rates, though they rely on ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2020-4

Working Paper
Expanded GDP for Welfare Measurement in the 21st Century

The information revolution currently underway has changed the economy in ways that are hard to measure using conventional GDP procedures. The information available to consumers has increased dramatically as a result of the Internet and its applications, and new mobile communication devices have greatly increased the speed and reach of its accessibility. An individual now has an unprecedented amount of information on which to base consumption choices, and the “free” nature of the information provided means that the resulting benefits largely bypass GDP and accrue directly to consumers. ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-10

Working Paper
Family Economics Writ Large

Powerful currents have reshaped the structure of families over the last century. There has been (i) a dramatic drop in fertility and greater parental investment in children; (ii) a rise in married female labor-force participation; (iii) a significant decline in marriage and a rise in divorce; (iv) a higher degree of positive assortative mating; (v) more children living with a single mother; (vi) shifts in social norms governing premarital sex and married women's roles in the workplace. Macroeconomic models explaining these aggregate trends are surveyed. The relent-less flow of technological ...
Working Papers , Paper 2016-26



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