The Estimation of Prewar Gnp: Methodology and New Evidence

88 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2004

See all articles by Nathan S. Balke

Nathan S. Balke

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Department of Economics; Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas - Research Department

Robert J. Gordon

Northwestern University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: August 1988

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Balke, Nathan S. and Gordon, Robert J., The Estimation of Prewar Gnp: Methodology and New Evidence (August 1988). NBER Working Paper No. w2674. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=439595

Nathan S. Balke

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Department of Economics ( email )

Dallas, TX 75275
United States
214-768-2693 (Phone)
214-768-1821 (Fax)

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas - Research Department

PO Box 655906
Dallas, TX 75265-5906
United States

Robert J. Gordon (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Department of Economics ( email )

2003 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
847-491-3616 (Phone)
847-491-5427 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://faculty-web.at.northwestern.edu/economics/g

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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