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Graphic Economics

A collection of graphic representations of data by CEPR researchers on important economic issues.



Difference Between Gross Domestic Product and Net Domestic Product Annual Growth Rates, 1950-2012 Print

April 26, 2013

The Commerce Department has announced that it plans to change its methodology with the next report on the Gross Domestic Product to count research and development and intangibles as investments. This will raise GDP since these expenditures will be counted as a final good rather than a cost of production.

While the idea is sound in principle, there are large methodological problems in implementation. For example, spending that is entirely rent-seeking in nature (e.g. innovating around a patent) will be counted the same as spending that leads to real economic benefits.

A way around this problem is to focus on net domestic product (NDP). The advantage of using the net measure is that it corrects for measurement errors in assessing the value of investment. If we overstate the value as an investment, we also overstate the value of the depreciation, making the net figure close to accurate. And, since we can’t eat depreciation, it is net NDP we care about.

gdp-2013-04-ge

For more, see the latest GDP Byte.

 
Monthly Employment Growth Print

April 5, 2013

One positive item in the latest jobs numbers is that the share of unemployment due to people voluntarily quitting their jobs rose to 8.4 percent, the highest since last March. This can be an indicator of workers' confidence in their job prospects, but we would have to see it persist for a longer period of time for that to be the case.

jobs-2013-04-ge

For more, see the latest Jobs Byte.

 
Change in Housing Units Started and Construction Employment, 2000-2013 Print

March 26, 2013

While the come back in the housing market is impressive, it is important to realize that the rapid growth is starting from very low levels. Starts peaked at over 2 million in 2005; the 917,000 annual rate for February was still less than half of the bubble level. It is reasonable that starts will continue to increase over the course of the year, as vacancies are falling back to more normal levels. However the vacancy rate still remains at unusually high levels. Furthermore, it is not plausible that starts will go back to their bubble pace.

hmm-2013-03-ge

For more, check out the latest Housing Market Monitor.

 
Change in Employment-to-Population Ratio, Jan 2000 - Feb 2013 Print

March 8, 2013

While the unemployment rate has dropped more than 40 percent of the way back to its pre-recession level, the employment-to-population ratio is still far closer to its trough than its pre-recession peak. While women have fared better than men, this is because they did not see the same sort of steep hit to employment at the start of the downturn. In the last couple of years the gap in performance has been closing with the EPOP for men rising and the EPOP for women drifting lower.

African Americans have fared much worse than whites in the downturn. The fall in the EPOP for black women has been almost as sharp as for men. The drop in the EPOP for black men has been by far the sharpest. Their EPOP has edged up slightly in the last two years but is still almost 8 percentage points below the pre-recession level.

jobs-2013-03-ge

For more, check out the latest Jobs Byte.

 
Single Family Housing Permits and Units Started, 2000-2013 Print

February 26, 2013

Construction is continuing its upward path, despite the sharp drop in starts reported in January. This decline was clearly a function of weather factors that led to a big jump in starts in December. In the Northeast starts were down 35.3 percent from their December level, but were still above November starts. Starts in the Midwest were down by 50.0 percent, but the vast majority of the decline was due to a plunge in multi-family units. Single-family units were down by just 9.7 percent. Starts in the South and West actually rose in January, as did permits.

hmm-2013-02-ge

For more, read the latest Housing Market Monitor.

 
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