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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. Over the years, CNSTAT has conducted numerous studies on the impact of economic factors on society, including measurement of gross domestic product, consumer cost-of-living and price indexes, costs of and returns from medical care for population health, productivity in higher education, and patterns of transportation of people and goods. CNSTAT studies have also examined the unique data issues involved when businesses or firms are the unit of measurement. The 2007 CNSTAT report Understanding Business Dynamics: An Integrated Data System for America’s Future 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 Census Bureau’s state and local governments program, and a recent workshop considered alternative classifications of rural areas in order to better understand rural economies and populations.

In October 2016, a CNSTAT panel charged with studying the economic, labor market, and fiscal impacts of immigration issued their comprehensive report, The Economic and Fiscal Impact of Immigration. The report addresses 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; and the effects of immigration on budgets and fiscal health at the federal, state and local levels. The CNSTAT Panel on Reengineering the Census Bureau’s Annual Economic Surveys is currently reviewing the design, operations, and products of the Census Bureau’s suite of annual surveys of retail trade, manufactures, wholesale trade, services, and other economic activities. Another new CNSTAT panel is addressing the definition of farm business structures and the implications for surveys of the farm sector.


Current Projects

Improving Data Collection and Reporting about Agriculture with Increasingly Complex Farm Business Structures

Reengineering the Census Bureau’s Annual Economic Surveys

Completed Projects and Workshops

Economic and Fiscal Impact of Immigration

The Integration of Immigrants into American Society

Affordability of National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Premiums

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 Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration  (CNSTAT)

The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration finds that the long-term impact of immigration on the wages and employment of native-born workers overall is very small, and that any negative... Read more

Affordability of National Flood Insurance Program PremiumsReport 2  (WSTB,BMSTA,BMSA,CNSTAT)

When Congress authorized the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1968, it intended for the program to encourage community initiatives in flood risk management, charge insurance premiums... Read more

Rationalizing Rural Area Classifications for the Economic Research ServiceA Workshop Summary  (CNSTAT)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (USDA/ERS) maintains four highly related but distinct geographic classification systems to designate areas by the degree to which they are... Read more

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 PremiumsReport 1  (WSTB,BMSTA,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 SectorConceptual 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 ExplorationRationales 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 ResourcesFuture 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 EconomyReview 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 AssetsMeasuring and Enhancing Their Contribution to Corporate Value and Economic Growth  (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 DynamicsAn 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 SharingSummary of a Workshop  (CNSTAT)

Read more

Beyond the MarketDesigning 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. EconomyInterim Report  (CNSTAT)

Read more

Designing Nonmarket Accounts for the United StatesInterim 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 NumbersExpanding 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 ImmigrationReport 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 MoneyU.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 NumbersU.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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