David Wasshausen

Bureau of Economic Analysis

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Institutional Affiliation: Bureau of Economic Analysis

NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2020Measuring Infrastructure in BEA's National Economic Accounts
with Jennifer Bennett, Robert Kornfeld, Daniel Sichel
in Economics of Infrastructure Investment, Edward L. Glaeser and James M. Poterba, editors
Infrastructure provides critical support for economic activity, and assessing its role requires reliable measures. This paper provides an overview of U.S. infrastructure data in the National Economic Accounts. After developing definitions of basic, social, and digital infrastructure, we assess trends in each of these categories and their components. Results are mixed depending on the category. Investment in some important types of basic infrastructure has barely or not kept up with depreciation and population growth in recent decades, while some other categories look better. We also show that the average age of most types of infrastructure in the U.S. has been rising, and the remaining service life has been falling. This paper also presents new prototype estimates of state-level investment...
March 2017BEA Deflators for Information and Communications Technology Goods and Services: Historical Analyses and Future Plans
with Erich H. Strassner
in Measuring and Accounting for Innovation in the 21st Century, Carol Corrado, Jonathan Haskel, Javier Miranda, and Daniel Sichel, organizers
The accuracy and integrity of BEA’s featured measures, including inflation-adjusted (i.e. “real”) GDP, consumer spending and business investment, rely on the ability to accurately measure quality adjusted price indexes. It is often the case that high-profile, innovative goods and services that reflect rapidly changing technologies and notable improvements present significant measurement challenges using traditional approaches, especially when required to be produced at high frequencies. With an aim toward facilitating and encouraging further price research, this paper first provides a historical perspective and an analysis of BEA’s ICT prices, including an overview of the sources and methods used to construct BEA’s quality-adjusted prices. In the second part of the paper, we discuss curren...
September 2014The Integrated Macroeconomic Accounts of the United States
with Marco Cagetti, Elizabeth Ball Holmquist, Lisa Lynn, Susan Hume McIntosh
in Measuring Economic Sustainability and Progress, Dale W. Jorgenson, J. Steven Landefeld, and Paul Schreyer, editors
The integrated macroeconomic accounts (IMAs), produced jointly by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), present a sequence of accounts that relate income, saving, investment in real and financial assets, and asset revaluations to changes in net worth. This paper first provides some background information on the IMAs and on their construction. Next, it discusses the usefulness of the IMAs, focusing for instance on the evolution of household net worth and its components, a set of series that has appeared frequently in discussions of the causes and effects of the recent financial crisis. It also discusses some of the challenges associated with integrating nonfinancial and financial data sources, that is, the current and capital accounts statistics from ...
August 2005Information-Processing Equipment and Software in the National Accounts
with Bruce T. Grimm, Brent R. Moulton
in Measuring Capital in the New Economy, Carol Corrado, John Haltiwanger and Daniel Sichel, editors
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