NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Estimation of Prewar GNP: Methodology and New Evidence

Nathan S. Balke, Robert J. Gordon

NBER Working Paper No. 2674 (Also Reprint No. r1200)
Issued in August 1988
NBER Program(s):   EFG

The paper develops new methodology for the estimation of prewar GNP, taps previously unused data sources, and develops new estimates for the periods 1869-08 and 1869-28. Primary among the new data sources are direct measures of output in the transportation, communications, and construction sectors, and estimates of the consumer price index. New measures of real GNP, nominal GNP, and the GNP deflator are developed. The new estimates of real GNP are as volatile on average over the business cycle as the traditional Kuznets-Kendrick aeries but dampen the amplitude of some cycles while raising the amplitude of others. The new estimates of the GNP deflator are distinctly less volatile than the traditional series and in fact no more volatile than in the postwar period.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w2674

Published: "The Estimation of Prewar Gross National Product: Methodology and New Evidence." From Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 97, No. 1, pp. 38-92,(February 1989).

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Balke and Gordon Appendix B Historical Data
Romer w1969 The Prewar Business Cycle Reconsidered: New Estimates of Gross NationalProduct, 1869-1918
Balke and Gordon w1999 The Estimation of Prewar GNP Volatility, 1869-1938
Gallman Gross National Product in the United States, 1834-1909
Gordon Front matter, The American Business Cycle. Continuity and Change
 
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