Publications

Publications

FRBSF Economic Letters

Economic analysis for a general audience

David Byrne, John G. Fernald, and Marshall Reinsdorf

2017-04

Slowing growth in U.S. productivity after 2004 is sometimes blamed on measurement problems, particularly in assessing the gains from innovation in IT-related goods and services. However, mismeasurement also occurred before the slowdown and, on balance, there is no evidence that it has worsened. Some innovations—such as free Internet services—have grown increasingly important, but they mainly affect leisure time. Moreover, the non-market benefits do not appear large enough to offset the effects of the business-sector slowdown.

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FedViews

Analysis of current economic developments and the outlook

SF Fed Forecast Preview

The SF Fed Forecast Preview is an advance release of the monthly SF Fed FedViews publication. Our forecasts of GDP, inflation, and unemployment will usually be released will usually be released on the second Tuesday of each month.

Western Economic Developments

Western Economic Developments is linked to via Fed in Print only.

Working Papers

The latest in economic research

Philippe Aghion, Antonin Bergeaud, Timo Boppart, Peter J. Klenow, and Huiyu Li

Statistical agencies typically impute inflation for disappearing products from the inflation rate for surviving products. As some products disappear precisely because they are displaced by better products, inflation may be lower at these points than for surviving products. As a result, creative destruction may result in overstated inflation and understated growth. We use a simple model to relate this “missing growth” to the frequency and size of various kinds of innovations. Using U.S. Census data, we then apply two ways of assessing the magnitude of missing growth for all private nonfarm businesses for 1983-2013. The first approach exploits information on the market share of surviving plants. The second approach applies indirect inference to firm-level data. We find: (i) missing growth from imputation is Substantial–0.5 percentage points per year when using the first approach, 1 percentage point per year using the second method; and (ii) almost all of the missing growth is due to creative destruction (as opposed to new varieties).

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