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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on National Statistics
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Economic Measurement


One of CNSTAT’s long-standing goals is the improvement of economic measurement and crucial data sources for that measurement. At What Price? Conceptualizing and Measuring Cost-of-Living and Price Indexes examined the foundations for consumer price indexes, comparing the strengths, weaknesses, and limitations of traditional “fixed basket” and cost-of-living-based approaches. Beyond the Market: Designing Nonmarket Accounts for the United States discussed how to extend the accounting principles that underlie the measurement of gross domestic product to develop broader measures of how well we are doing as a nation—how to design accounts in such areas as health, education, home production, and environmental improvement (or pollution) that can help us better understand economic growth and income determination. Accounting for Health and Healthcare continues this line of work, focusing on the costs of and returns from medical care and other “inputs” to population health, conceptualized within an economic accounting framework. Improving Measurement of Productivity in Higher Education presents an analytically well-defined concept of productivity in higher education and, while recognizing the great difficulty of doing so, offers practical guidelines for its measurement.

CNSTAT studies have also examined the unique data issues involved when businesses or firms are the unit of measurement. Understanding Business Dynamics explored available data on the births, deaths, expansions, and contractions of firms and establishments. CNSTAT studies have explored portions of the recurring Economic Census, including a review of the state and local governments program of the Census Bureau’s economic programs directorate.

CNSTAT, working with the Committee on Population (CPOP), is beginning a study on the economic, labor market, and fiscal impacts of immigration. The expert panel will address questions about the impacts of immigration on living standards and the macro economy; wages and income of U.S. natives and immigrants, and for different education, skill, and occupation groups; budgets and fiscal health at the federal, state and local levels; and inter-governmental fiscal dynamics (e.g., the distribution of the budget impact across federal, state, and local entities). A CPOP companion study will investigate the integration of immigrants into American communities.


Current Projects

Affordability of National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Premiums

Economic and Fiscal Impact of Immigration

The Integration of Immigrants into American Society
Completed Projects and Workshops

Future Directions for the National Science Foundation National Patterns Of Research and Development

Workshop on Measuring Research and Development Expenditures in the U.S. Nonprofit Sector: Conceptual and Design Issues

Workshop on Rationalizing Rural Area Classifications








Relevant Reports

The Integration of Immigrants into American Society  (CPOP)

The United States prides itself on being a nation of immigrants, and the country has a long history of successfully absorbing people from across the globe. The integration of immigrants and their... Read more

Affordability of National Flood Insurance Program Premiums: Report 1  (WSTB,BMSA,CNSTAT)

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is housed within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and offers insurance policies that are marketed and sold through private insurers, but with... Read more

Measuring Research and Development Expenditures in the U.S. Nonprofit Sector: Conceptual and Design Issues: Summary of a Workshop  (CNSTAT)

National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) of the National Science Foundation is responsible for national reporting of the research and development (R&D) activities that occur in... Read more

Pathways to Exploration: Rationales and Approaches for a U.S. Program of Human Space Exploration  (SSB,ASEB,CNSTAT)

The United States has publicly funded its human spaceflight program on a continuous basis for more than a half-century, through three wars and a half-dozen recessions, from the early Mercury and... Read more

National Patterns of R&D Resources: Future Directions for Content and Methods: Summary of a Workshop  (CNSTAT)

Statistics on research and development (R&D) are important indicators of innovation, the transfer of ideas and knowledge, which in turn are key drivers of economic growth and R&D expenditures are one... Read more

Collecting Compensation Data from Employers  (CNSTAT)

U.S. agencies with responsibilities for enforcing equal employment opportunity laws have long relied on detailed information that is obtained from employers on employment in job groups by gender and... Read more

Improving Measurement of Productivity in Higher Education  (CNSTAT,BOTA)

Higher education is a linchpin of the American economy and society: teaching and research at colleges and universities contribute significantly to the nation's economic activity, both directly and... Read more

A Database for a Changing Economy: Review of the Occupational Information Network (O*NET)  (CNSTAT)

Information about the characteristics of jobs and the individuals who fill them is valuable for career guidance, reemployment counseling, workforce development, human resource management, and other... Read more

Intangible Assets: Measuring and Enhancing Their Contribution to Corporate Value and Economic Growth: Summary of a Workshop  (STEP,CNSTAT)

Intangible assets--which include computer software, research and development (R&D), intellectual property, workforce training, and spending to raise the efficiency and brand identification of... Read more

Understanding Business Dynamics: An Integrated Data System for America's Future  (CNSTAT)

The U.S. economy is highly dynamic: businesses open and close, workers switch jobs and start new enterprises, and innovative technologies redefine the workplace and enhance productivity. With... Read more

Improving Business Statistics Through Interagency Data Sharing: Summary of a Workshop  (CNSTAT)

Read more

Beyond the Market: Designing Nonmarket Accounts for the United States  (CNSTAT)

Read more

Measuring International Trade on U.S. Highways  (CNSTAT)

International trade plays a substantial role in the economy of the United States. More than 1.6 billion tons of international merchandise was conveyed using the U.S. transportation system in 2001. The... Read more

Measuring Research and Development Expenditures in the U.S. Economy  (CNSTAT)

Read more

Measuring Research and Development Expenditures in the U.S. Economy: Interim Report  (CNSTAT)

Read more

Designing Nonmarket Accounts for the United States: Interim Report  (CNSTAT)

Read more

At What Price?: Conceptualizing and Measuring Cost-of-Living and Price Indexes  (CBASSE)

How well does the consumer price index (CPI) reflect the changes that people actually face in living costs from apples to computers to health care? Given how it is used, is it desirable to construct... Read more

Nature's Numbers: Expanding the National Economic Accounts to Include the Environment  (CBASSE)

In order to really see the forest, what's the best way to count the trees? Understanding how the economy interacts with the environment has important implications for policy, regulatory, and business... Read more

Measuring the Government Sector of the U.S. Economic Accounts  (CBASSE)

This report had its origin in a Committee on National Statistics workshop in November 1993, one of a series on improving economic statistics, jointly sponsored by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)... Read more

Assessing Knowledge of Retirement Behavior  (CBASSE)

This book brings together in one volume what researchers have learned about workers, employers, and retirees that is important for formulating retirement income policies. As the U.S. population ages,... Read more

Local Fiscal Effects of Illegal Immigration: Report of a Workshop  (CBASSE)

The recent level of illegal immigration to the United States has increased debates about the effect of these immigrants on the cost of public services, and states have begun to enact policies that... Read more

Following the Money: U.S. Finance in the World Economy  (CBASSE)

Many questions have been raised about America's status in the increasingly interconnected global economy. Yet key facts--such as the amount of foreign assets abroad owned by U.S. citizens--are not... Read more

Toward Improved Modeling of Retirement Income PoliciesInterim Report  (CBASSE)

Read more

Assigning Economic Value to Natural Resources  (CGER)

There has been a lot of discussion among policymakers, particularly within the Clinton Administration, about how to make U.S. economic indicators, such as GNP, more accurately reflect the state of the... Read more

Behind the Numbers: U.S. Trade in the World Economy  (CBASSE)

America's international economic decisions rest to a large degree on the information available to policymakers. Yet the quality of international trade and financial data is in serious doubt. This book... Read more

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