Introduction and Overview to "Challenges of Globalization in the Measurement of National Accounts"
The substantial increase in the complexity of global supply chains and other production arrangements over the last three decades has challenged some traditional measures of national income accounts aggregates and raised the potential for distortions in conventional calculations of GDP and productivity. This volume examines a variety of multinational business activities, including how multinational enterprises arrange their financing and assign ownership of intellectual property to avoid tax and regulatory burdens, and assesses their impact on economic measurement. Several chapters consider how global supply chains complicate the interpretation of traditional trade statistics, and how new techniques, such as extended supply and use tables, can provide new information about global production arrangements. Other chapters examine the role of intangible capital in global production, including the intangible output of factoryless goods producers and the problems of measuring R&D in a globalized world. The studies in this volume also explore ways to enhance the quality of the national accounts by improving data collection and analysis and by updating the standards for measurement.
I am currently working on a part-time basis as a contractual employee of the International Monetary Fund. During the last three years, I have also been compensated by the Brookings Institution and by the World Bank for research projects. None of these organizations supported my work on this chapter, which I conducted on my own time separately from these contractual engagements.