Research Spotlights

Measuring Open Source Software Innovation

The use and creation of open source software has grown rapidly in recent years due to its contribution in the business sector and the overall economy; however, there have been no explicit estimates of investment in this critical public asset. A method to meet that need is presented in a recent study by J. Bayoán Santiago Calderón and Ledia Guci of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Gizem Korkmaz of Westat, Brandon L. Kramer of Edge & Node, and Carol A. Robbins of the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.

February 20, 2024

Proof of Concept for a U.S. Air Emissions Physical Flows Account

Measurement of the impact of economic activity on the environment contributes to good long-term decision-making, but it is absent from traditional economic accounts. Environmental economic accounts help fill this data gap. A working paper by Matthew Chambers of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis presents a proof of concept for an air emissions physical flows account.

January 10, 2024

Experimental Statistics for U.S. Direct Investment Abroad

Current bilateral U.S. direct investment abroad statistics on the immediate partner economy basis might not adequately reflect where foreign affiliates of U.S. multinational enterprises produce and sell goods and services. A working paper by BEA economists Kirsten Brew, Jessica Hanson, Ricardo Limes, Ryan Smith, and Larkin Terrie describes BEA's initial effort to produce U.S. direct investment abroad statistics on the basis of ultimate host economy.

November 13, 2023

Measuring Innovation's Effect on Health Care Spending Growth

Technological innovation is believed to be a key driver of health care spending growth, but it has historically been difficult to measure. A new research paper by Abe C. Dunn and Lasanthi Fernando of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and Eli Liebman of the University of Georgia takes a unique approach to overcome this challenge.

November 13, 2023

Considering Marketing as an Asset in the National Accounts

Previous empirical research has shown that marketing investment often increases purchases for several years. An October 2023 working paper by Leo Sveikauskas, Rachel Soloveichik, Corby Garner, Peter B. Meyer, James Bessen, and Matthew Russell contributes to the discussion around including marketing investment as an intangible in the System of National Accounts 2025 by developing macroeconomic measures of marketing investments and stocks for the United States.

November 9, 2023

New Approach to Measuring the Digital Economy

Measuring the digital economy is a high priority for analysts of economic growth, but it is a difficult task. A working paper by Benjamin Bridgman, Tina Highfill, and Jon Samuels, all of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), offers a new approach that augments the measures in BEA's Digital Economy Satellite Account to include digital services provided by high-tech consumer durables.

July 13, 2023

Multinational Firms in the U.S. Economy: New Insights

The economic significance of multinational enterprises (MNEs) necessitates a greater understanding of their impacts on domestic firms, workers, and local economies. Fariha Kamal and Wei Ouyang of the U.S. Census Bureau and Jessica McCloskey of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis describe the construction of two confidential crosswalks that permit a comprehensive identification of MNEs operating in the United States.

July 13, 2023

An Updated Look at Government Enterprises

Using Census of Governments data for 1967–2017, a working paper by Tina Highfill of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that housing and urban renewal as well as public transit should no longer be classified as state and local government enterprises in the National Income and Product Accounts as of 1972 and 1982, respectively. Additionally, hospitals and solid waste management should be classified as state and local government enterprises beginning in 1977 and 1992, respectively.

July 13, 2023

Measuring Infrastructure: Highways and Streets

Recent debates on increased infrastructure spending have highlighted the need to measure infrastructure and its effects on economic growth and well-being. That's the topic of a working paper by Robert Kornfeld of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and Barbara Fraumeni of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

July 13, 2023