2015년 12월 23일 수요일

[J. Steven Landefeld's] GDP: One of the Great Inventions of the 20th Century

출처: J. Steven Landefeld, “GDP: One of the Great Inventions of the 20th Century,” in Bureau of Economic Analysis, Survey of Current Business, January 2000.



※ 발췌 (excerpt):

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History of the NIPA's.─Prior to the development of the NIPA's, policymakers had to guide the economy using limited and fragmentary information about the state of the economy. The Great Depression underlined the problems of incomplete data and led to the development of the national accounts:

One reads with dismay of Presidents Hoover and then Roosevelt designing policies to combat the Great Depression of the 1930's on the basis of such sketchy data as stock price indices, freight car loadings, and incomplete indices of industrial production. The fact was that comprehensive measures of national income and output did not exist at the time. The Depression, and with it the growing role of government in the economy, emphasized the need for such measures and led to the development of a comprehensive set of national income accounts.  ─ Richard T. Froyen

In response to this need in the 1930's, the Department of Commerce commissioned Nobel laureate Simon Kuznets of the National Bureau of Economic Research to develop a set of national economic accounts. [n.1] Professor Kuznets headed a small group within the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce's Division of Economic Research. Professor Kuznets coordinated the work of researchers at the National Bureau of Economic Research in New York and his staff at Commerce. The original set of accounts was presented in a report to Congress in 1937 and in a research report, ^National Income, 1929–35.^

Early in 1942, annual estimates of gross national product were introduced to complement the estimates of national income and to facilitate war time planning. Wartime planning needs also helped to stimulate the development of input-output accounts. Nobel laureate Wassily Leontief developed the U.S. input-output accounts that subsequently became an integral part of the NIPA's. In commenting on the usefulness of the national accounts, Wesley C. Mitchell, Director, National Bureau of Economic Research, said:

“Only those who had a personal share in the economic mobilization for World War I could realize in how many ways and how much estimates of national income covering 20 years and classified in several ways facilitated the World War II effort.”

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CF. other sources: A New Architecture for the U.S. National Accounts

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