[These notes contain four lectures instead of the usual three because they include the makeup lecture notes on U.S. economic institutions (state & local governments, foreign trade) that were distributed in class this week. They have been inserted as Lecture 10, forcing some renumbering of Wednesday's and Friday's lectures. The corresponding chapters in Case & Fair's textbook are Chapters 3 and 7. By now we have covered all of the first seven chapters.]
WEEK 4, LECTURE 9
Mon., Feb. 14, 2000
I. Types of economic systems
II. U.S. economic institutions: the distribution of income and production
III. U.S. economic institutions: government
I. TYPES OF ECONOMIC SYSTEMS
Where we left off:
Types of economic systems:
-- TRADITIONAL ECONOMY: production methods, exchange of goods, and distribution of income are all sanctioned by custom. Examples: primitive societies, feudalistic societies, caste-based societies.
-- MARKET ECONOMY (laissez-faire capitalism): markets (places
where buyers and sellers come together) are the key to economic organization,
and the means of production (capital) are privately owned.
---- A market economy will be a decentralized system, since every good and service is distributed through a different market, and every market has many different buyers and sellers.
---- Government can still exist in a pure market economy, but its role would be extremely limited, to such things as protecting private property rights and establishing an environment conducive to the efficient operation of markets.
-- COMMAND ECONOMY (communism): public (government) ownership
of virtually all means of production and property, and economic decision-making
through central planning. Officially, a communist regime seeks to distribute
goods and services according to people's needs (as opposed to their
or their ability to pay). The Soviet Union's motto was once "From each
according to his ability, to each according to his need."
---- Socialism is a vaguer term. It is sometimes used to mean the exact same thing as communism; sometimes people use a more limited definition, referring to extensive income redistribution through progressive taxation (rich pay higher rates) and extensive social programs for the poor, the young, the elderly, and the infirm.
-- MIXED ECONOMY: contains elements of both pure capitalism and government
---- Every national economy today is in fact a mixed economy. The degree of government control varies from virtually nil (in, say, Hong Kong) to near-total (in, say, Cuba). Most countries fall well in between those two extremes.
------ U.S.: Government purchases of goods and services are about 18-20% of GDP.
------ Sweden (market socialism?): More than 90% of business activity is in private hands, but government purchases of goods and services are well over half of GDP, and tax rates are very high and progressive (rich pay higher rates), so to redistribute income from rich to poor.
------ welfare-state capitalism: capitalism with significant government regulation and a strong social safety net
II. U.S. ECONOMIC INSTITUTIONS: THE DISTRIBUTION OF INCOME AND PRODUCTION
U.S. national income is paid out in wages and salaries (71%), as the
"proprietors' income" of small-business owner-operators (8%), as corporate
profits (12%), and as interest (7%) and rent (2%).
-- Note that wages and salaries are by far the largest component of national income, and that their share of national income has been fairly steady at about 70% for most of this century.
Incomes in the U.S. are very unevenly distributed and, in the past
two decades, have become even more skewed in favor of the rich.
-- The richest 20% (the richest quintile) of households receive almost half of all personal income in the U.S., and the next 20% receives slightly more than proportional share (23%). The bottom 60% of households receive much less than their share -- the bottom quintile gets only 4% of U.S. income, the next quintile gets 10%, and the next (the middle quintile, or people in the 40th to 60th percentile of U.S. households) gets 16%.
-- In the 1980s, it was literally true that "the rich were getting richer and the poor were getting poorer." In the 1990s, people in the bottom 20% have seen a slight improvement in their real (inflation-adjusted) incomes, but the incomes of the rich have gotten vastly larger, so income inequality has increased.
Americans consume most of their income -- fully 80% of household
income goes to personal consumption expenditures.
-- The majority of American families "live from paycheck to paycheck," either saving nothing or devoting their non-consumption spending to paying down their debts. Personal savings account for 6% of personal income, with most of the saving being done by richer households. The U.S. national saving rate, including businesses and the government as well as households, has traditionally been one of the lowest among industrialized countries, and has lately turned negative -- we are spending more than we earn.
-- Taxes and government spending are a much smaller share of personal income in the U.S. than in most industrialized countries, with personal taxes taking up just 14% of U.S. personal income.
Turning our attention toward the production side of the economy, most
U.S. business firms are small businesses -- sole proprietorships (owner-operated
businesses) or partnerships -- but larger, incorporated businesses
account for the overwhelming percentage of production and sales.
-- [In class we saw an overhead of Case & Fair's Table 3.1, "Number of Firms and Sales by Type of Business, 1993" (p. 47).]
-- Some 75% of all U.S. firms are sole proprietorships, and 82% of U.S. firms are small businesses. There are over 16 million proprietorships and about 1.5 million partnerships and about 4 million corporations in America.
-- Corporations, however, account for 89% of U.S. sales.
III. U.S. ECONOMIC INSTITUTIONS: GOVERNMENT
The government is another vital player in modern society, collecting taxes from households and firms and providing them with various services, and at the same time providing jobs to many Americans (about one American in 7 works for the government).
The U.S. government is "big" in comparison with the U.S. government
of the 1920s or 1930s, but small in comparison with those of other industrialized
countries, notably those of Western Europe, where government purchases
of goods and services are typically more than half of GDP.
-- [In class we saw overheads of Case & Fair's:
---- Figure 3.1, "Total [U.S.] Government Expenditures as a Percentage of GDP, 1940-1997" (p. 56)
---- Figure 3.2, "Taxes as a Percentage of Gross Domestic Product, 1980 and 1994" [a cross-country comparison] (p. 57)]
-- In the U.S., government purchases of goods and services were about 22-23% of GDP in the 1960s and have gradually been shrinking as a share of GDP, to about 20% of GDP in the 1980s to 18% of GDP in 1997. On the other hand, total government spending in the U.S. rose in the 1960s to about 30% of GDP and has had a slight upward trend, to about 32% of GDP in 1997, because government transfer payments, such as Social Security and Medicare, have become increasingly large.
-- [In class we saw an overhead of Case & Fair's Table 3.6, "The Size of the [U.S.] Public Sector, 1940-1997" (p. 57). Note how defense spending has gradually shrunk as a share of total government spending since 1960 and how transfer payments have grown steadily, more than doubling as a share of GDP since 1960.]
Defn. GOVERNMENT TRANSFER PAYMENTS: government programs
into which people pay taxes and those taxes get redistributed as benefits
to other people. Examples include Social Security (old-age pensions), unemployment
insurance, and welfare (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families).
-- Government transfer payments have ballooned because of the rapid aging of the U.S. population, which means more people receiving Social Security pensions and Medicare health insurance coverage, and because of the rapid inflation of medical costs, which has raised the costs of Medicare and Medicaid (health insurance for poor people). Government transfer payments were about 5% of GDP in 1960, about 10% of GDP in 1980, and were about 15% of GDP in 1997.
The U.S.A. has long prided itself on its federalist system of government, by which power is shared among three levels of government -- federal (national), state, and local. Since the 1930s, the federal government's share of total government spending has grown substantially; the federal government, with a budget of roughly $1.5 trillion, now accounts for about two-thirds of total government spending.
The three levels of government get their revenues from very different
sources. All three rely mostly on taxes (which wasn't always the case.
Until World War I, the federal government depended mostly on tariffs --
duties on foreign imports -- for its financing).
-- [In class we saw an overhead of Case & Fair's Table 3.10, "Federal Receipts by Source, 1980 and 1997" (p. 60).]
-- Today the federal government gets a bit more than half its revenue from the income tax, which applies both to individuals and to corporations. The personal income tax accounts for 45% of federal revenues and the corporate income tax (or corporate profits tax) accounts for 12%. Payroll taxes, which mostly go into the Social Security system and partly into Medicare, have risen in relative importance and now make up 35% of federal revenue. In fact, the majority of U.S. households (those in the working and middle classes) pay more in payroll taxes than they do in income taxes. The payroll tax is divided equally between workers and their employers, with each kicking in about 7.5% of the worker's income up to a certain limit (around $70,000). The payroll tax is regressive in that it takes a much smaller bite out of rich people's incomes than it does out of poor people's incomes, since income about that limit is not subject to the payroll tax at all. Excise taxes (sales taxes on specific commodities like cigarettes, alcohol, and gasoline) account for 4% of federal revenues, and "all other" sources, including tariffs, account for the remaining 4% of federal revenues.
-- [In class we saw an overhead of Case & Fair's Table 3.7, "Federal Expenditures by Function, 1997" (p. 58).]
-- Federal spending goes largely toward pensions and income security programs like Social Security (22.5% in 1997) and health security programs like Medicare (14.6%) and Medicaid. National defense takes up a large share of the budget (16.4%), but that share has been rapidly declining since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989. Interest on the national debt (15.2%) is another large item that has exploded since about 1980, thanks to the stream of large federal budget deficits in the 1980s and early 1990s. (The national debt is roughly the sum of all past deficits minus all past surpluses.) Spending on "All other" programs (besides defense, Social Security, interest, income security, Medicare, and heatlh) totals less than 12% of the federal budget.
[In class we also saw overheads of Case & Fair's Table 3.11, "State and Local Tax Receipts, 1997" (p. 61), and Table 3.9, "State and Local Expenditures by Function, 1980 and 1994" (p. 59). State and local governments are treated in more detail in the next lecture. Note that education and public welfare together account for nearly half of state & local government spending, and that sales taxes and property taxes are their main sources of revenues, together accounting for about 43% of their funds. About 20% of the states' and localities' funding comes from grants from the federal government.]
PRINCIPLES OF MACROECONOMICS (EC0 200): MAKEUP LECTURE ON ECONOMIC INSTITUTIONS
LECTURE 10 (MAKEUP; formerly Lecture 11)
(Originally posted separately, on Thurs., Feb. 17, 2000)
Today: U.S. economic institutions (finish)
I. A bit more on state & local governments
II. International trade
I. A BIT MORE ON STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
[In class on Mon., Feb. 14, we left off with a look at the government as an economic institution. We looked separately at the federal (national) government and at the state/local government sector. The tables in Case & Fair's textbook treat the state & local government sectors as a single entity; this bit of today's lecture takes a look at how the state governments differ from the local governments in terms of their revenues and their spending.]
Unlike the federal government, which gets most of its revenues from
the income tax (and nearly as much from payroll taxes like the Social Security
[FICA] tax), most state governments are not terribly dependent on income
taxes. Several states do not even have an income tax, and the payroll
tax is strictly a federal tax. Sales and excise taxes account for nearly
half of state revenues, with personal income taxes a distant second
(32%), followed by corporate income taxes (7%), property taxes (2%), and
inheritance and gift taxes (1%). "All other" taxes, which includes things
like fees for marriage and driver's licenses but does not include lottery
revenues (which are an increasingly large share of state revenues but are
not technically taxes), come to 9% of state tax revenues.
-- The largest items in the states' budgets are "public welfare" (32%, mostly medical care and welfare), education (21%), health and hospitals (10%), highways (10%), and public safety (6%).
Local governments are a story unto themselves -- they are almost
completely dependent on property taxes, which make up 75% of
their revenues. Some large cities have sales and excise taxes (15%)
or income taxes (6%), but property taxes equal destiny for most localities.
Poorer communities, especially poor cities, will tend to find themselves
stretched to the breaking point, because the property values will be low,
making for a low tax base, and the needs of their populations, especially
in crowded cities, will be great.
-- The biggest budget item by far for local governments is education (42%), which points to what one writer called the "savage inequalities" in American schools. Rich counties and suburbs, with many valuable properties, are able to generate a lot of property tax revenue and can lavishly support their public schools; poorer areas, especially cities, cannot easily generate nearly as much property tax revenue, so their school facilities are often dismal. Other major budget items for local governments are public safety, health and hospitals, welfare, housing, and sewerage.
II. ECONOMIC INSTITUTIONS: INTERNATIONAL TRADE
The U.S. economy has become increasingly international, with our foreign
trade now totaling in the trillions of dollars and many multinational corporations
operating in both the U.S. and in other countries. Many of the items that
are manufactured in the U.S. are not truly "American-made," because many
of the parts often come from other countries, and parts of the product
may be assembled in other countries as well.
-- Take, for example, the production of an airplane by the Boeing Corporation. Although Boeing is an American company and final assembly of the plane was probably done near Boeing's Seattle headquarters, most of the body of the plane was made by "international suppliers," i.e. companies in other countries. The same is often true of "American-made" cars. Likewise, many foreign firms get many of their parts from U.S. plants.
EXPORTS: goods and services produced in the home country and sold to other countries.
IMPORTS: goods and services produced in other countries and sold to the home countries.
[Refer to Case & Fair's "Fast Facts" table on p. 61, which shows
the proportion of exports in total national output in 1995 for selected
countries, including the U.S. See also Table 3.12 on p. 62, which
shows the increasing importance of exports and imports as a share of the
U.S. economy in the past half-century.]
-- Exports are a relatively small share of the U.S. economy (11% in 1995). The same is also true of Japan (9%). Exports are a much larger share of GDP for most countries in Western Europe (e.g., Ireland, where exports totaled 75% of GDP in 1995), as well as Thailand (42%) and Korea (33%). In Canada (not in the table), exports are also a very large share of the economy (38% in 1996).
-- Exports as a share of GDP and imports as a share of GDP have both increased greatly in the U.S. in the past several decades, from about 3% of GDP in 1945 to 12-14% of GDP now.
-- U.S. imports have been more than U.S. exports in all but two of the years since 1965, so the U.S. has persistently run trade deficits.
In sum, the U.S. economy has become increasingly international in the
past half-century. An increasing proportion of what we consume is produced
abroad, and foreigners are among the biggest investors in the U.S. stock,
bond, and real estate markets. Since the mid-1930s, the U.S., like most
of the world's other leading economies, has greatly reduced its barriers
to foreign imports.
-- For most of our early history, the U.S. had very high tariffs (taxes on imports), in the area of 40-50% of the value of imports. The tariffs were seen as a way to protect new and growing "infant industries" in our then-young country from competition with established foreign producers who had the advantage of a much earlier start. Tariffs were also the government's main source of revenue.
---- U.S. tariffs reached an all-time high in 1930, when Congress passed the infamous Smoot-Hawley Tariff, which raised the average tariff to 60% of the value of imports and helped feed a worldwide trade war that made the Great Depression even worse. Imports and exports plummeted even more than the world economy did. The Smoot-Hawley tariff was removed in 1934, and U.S. tariffs were gradually reduced.
---- After World War II, the U.S., by now the industrial world's economic and political leader, drastically reduced its tariffs to about 12%, as part of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) in 1947. Successive rounds of the GATT talks have reduced tariffs even further --> the average U.S. tariff is now just 5%.
Nevertheless, despite our relative lack of barriers to foreign trade
and despite the growing internationalization of our economy, international
trade remains a fairly small part of the U.S. economy, in comparison
with the economies of other countries around the world.
-- [Refer back to "Fast Facts" table on p. 61.]
-- The U.S., with a large and diverse population and geography, is able to produce the vast majority of what it consumes, and we consume the vast majority of what produce.
CLOSED ECONOMY ("autarky") -- no trade with the outside world
OPEN ECONOMY -- lots of trade with the outside world
"OPENNESS" = a measure of how "open" a country's economy is, i.e.
how important its foreign trade is relative to the size of its economy
-- "openness" = (Exports + Imports) / GDP
-- By this measure, the U.S. economy is relatively closed, because most of what we consume is produced here in the U.S.
-- In 1993, U.S. imports and exports summed to 27% of U.S. GDP
-- The corresponding "openness" measures of some other countries were:
[Refer to Case & Fair's Table 3.13 (p. 63), which shows the principal
goods that the U.S. exports and imports and also our principal trading
-- Computers, chemicals, and semiconductors are our biggest exports; other big U.S. exports are aircraft, grains, and automobiles.
-- Many of those same goods are among our biggest imports. Our top three categories of imports are petroleum (mainly Middle Eastern oil), automobiles, and computers. Semiconductors and chemicals are also in the top seven.
-- The U.S. imports a lot more consumer goods and automobiles ($334 billion in 1997) than it exports ($151 billion). A few decades ago, those numbers were the opposite; when people say the U.S. "is losing our competitive edge in world export markets," this is probably what they're talking about. (Economists would tend to regard that "losing our competitive edge" line of thought as simplistic, however, as we shall discuss later.)
---- Q: Why do we import so many of the same goods that we export? The
Theory of Comparative Advantage (which we learned in micro) tells us that
countries should export the goods they produce relatively well, and import
the goods they produce relatively badly. What's going on here?
---- A: These are very broad industrial groupings, that include things like computer and automobile parts that are produced in one country and then used in the assembly of a final good in another country (like that Boeing airplane I described earlier). Also, in a category like automobiles, the type of cars we import (e.g., energy-efficient Honda Civics and all-wheel-drive Subarus) are likely to be different from the type of cars we export (e.g., trucks, jeeps).
-- The U.S. trades mostly with the world's other large industrial economies -- Canada, Japan, and Western Europe. Canada is our single largest trading partner, accounting for 22% of our exports and 20% of our imports in 1996. Japan is our next largest trading partner, accounting for 11% of our exports and 14% of our imports. Mexico is our third-largest trading partner, accounting for 9% of U.S. exports and 9% of U.S. imports; our trade with Mexico has skyrocketed in the past decade or so, thanks in part to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico in 1993. China has also emerged as a key U.S. export market and even more prominently as a key importer into the U.S.
PRINCIPLES OF MACROECONOMICS
WEEK 4, LECTURE 11 [formerly Lecture 10]
Wed., Feb. 16, 2000
* Today: How we measure the size of the economy
I. National income & national product
II. GDP accounting
* First exam will be Wednesday (Feb. 23), not Monday
* Rem's office hours next week
---- Monday 5-7 (last hour only if necessary)
---- Tuesday 4-6 (last hour only if necessary)
I. NATIONAL INCOME & NATIONAL PRODUCT
"National income" and "national output" are roughly the same thing.
They reflect the two different approaches to calculating GDP (gross domestic
product). They are:
* the product, or expenditure, approach: add up the values of everything that is produced
* the income approach: add up everybody's wages, salaries, interest income, company profits, etc.
-- These two approaches are both valid because every expenditure by a buyer is at the same time income for the seller. We see this in the circular-flow diagram, where the flow of households' consumption spending equals the flow of firms' revenues from that consumption.
National product: total output of goods and services.
National income: total payments to factors of production.
Say's Law: Supply creates its own demand.
-- This law, named for the 19th century French economist Jean Baptiste Say, notes that the act of producing goods and services, in the aggregate, generates income sufficient to buy those goods and services.
-- The logic behind Say's Law is roughly the same logic behind the circular-flow model.
II. GDP ACCOUNTING
Before we see exactly what gets added up when we calculate GDP, we should learn the following definitions:
Defn. Gross investment: Additions to the capital stock (plant and equipment) and the housing stock by the private (nongovernmental) sector.
Defn. Depreciation ("capital consumption allowance," or
"consumption of fixed capital"): The amount by which the value of the
existing capital stock declines in a given period, because of rust,
wear and tear, and destruction.
-- Note: As you shall see, in the income approach to GDP we add on depreciation, which may seem puzzling since depreciation is clearly not a form of income. Depreciation is only added onto the income side so that the two sides will be equal. The logic of including indirect taxes minus subsidies is similar.
Defn. Net investment = Gross investment - Depreciation. Net investment is the net increase in the value of a country's physical capital stock (K, for change in the capital stock) from the previous year.
Defn. Net exports = Exports minus Imports. Net exports are the same thing as a country's overall trade surplus. If net exports are negative, as in the U.S. today, then the country is running a trade deficit. Currently U.S. exports are about 12% of U.S. GDP and U.S. imports are about 13% of U.S. GDP, hence the trade deficit, or net exports, is -1% of GDP.
U.S. GDP in 1997, by these two computation methods:
-- [Note: This table reflects a correction that was made at the beginning of class on Fri., Feb. 18. The last item under "Income approach," NET FACTOR PAYMENTS TO FOREIGNERS, was initially left out.]
|PRODUCT / EXPENDITURE APPROACH||INCOME APPROACH|
|Personal consumption (C)||68%||Wages and salaries||58%|
|+ Gross private investment (I)||15%||+ Proprietors' income||7%|
|+ Government purchases of goods and services (G)||18%||+ Corporate profits and taxes||10%|
|+ Exports (EX)||12%||+ Net interest||6%|
|- Imports (IM)||-13%||+ Rental income (includes "imputed rent" on owned-occupied housing)||2%|
|+ Indirect business taxes (sales taxes, customs duties, license fees) minus subsidies||7%|
|+ Net factor payments to foreigners||0.2%|
|TOTAL GDP $8.1 billion||(100%)||TOTAL GDP $8.1 billion||(100%)|
We can summarize the expenditure approach to GDP as
GDP = C + I + G + (EX-IM)
[The income approach to GDP is somewhat more complex; a possibly helpful shorthand for remembering it appears in Friday's notes.]
By national income accounting, we mean the process by which national output is officially calculated. Here are two more precise definitions.
Defn. GDP (gross domestic product): the total market value of all final goods and services produced in a given year by factors of production located within a country, regardless of who owns the factors of production.
Defn. GNP (gross national product): the total market
value of all final goods and services produced in a given year by factors
of production owned by a country's citizens.
-- Until about 1990, GNP was the standard measure of national output. Now we use GDP instead.
Q: Why do you suppose we've switched our standard measure from GNP to
A: Because of the growing internationalization of the U.S. economy. TV newscasters sometimes warn that "foreigners are buying up America," and it's partly true. That Subaru plant in Indiana provides a lot more jobs for Americans than does a Chrysler plant in Mexico, so seems logical to include most of its output in our national output, rather than vice versa. In 1990, U.S. GDP > GNP by $37 billion-- there were a lot more foreign-owned businesses in U.S. than U.S.-owned businesses in rest of world. (In recent years, by contrast, GNP has been slightly larger than GDP in the U.S.) Foreign direct investment in the U.S. jumped from $54.5 billion in 1979 to over $400 billion in 1989.
Def. Per capita GDP: GDP per person
-- (Closely related to productivity, which is output/worker.)
U.S. GDP in 1999: about $8.8 trillion, world's largest.
-- U.S. per-capita GDP in 1995 = about $27,000, world's 6th-largest
-- The top five: Switzerland ($40,600); Japan ($39,600); Norway ($31,200); Denmark ($29,900); Germany ($27,510)
PRINCIPLES OF MACROECONOMICS
WEEK 4, LECTURE 12 [formerly Lecture 11]
Fri., Feb. 18, 2000
* Today: GDP accounting, continued
I. The product and income approaches
II. What gets counted in GDP and what doesn't?
* MINI-PROBLEM SET TO DO FOR MONDAY: CASE & FAIR, CHAPTER
7, #1, 2, 5, 7, 9
I. THE PRODUCT AND INCOME APPROACHES TO CALCULATING GDP
[We saw the overhead of the two-column table of GDP components, with the first column labeled "Product/Expenditure Approach" and the second labeled "Income Approach." Refer back to it in Wednesday's notes.]
Remembering all those components of GDP is easier if you employ a couple shortcuts. Using the notation introduced last time, GDP by the product/expenditure approach is just:
GDP = C+I+G+EX-IM
Calculating GDP by the income approach involves adding together more components, but we can remember it as:
GDP = National Income + "DIN"
where "DIN" = Depreciation + Indirect taxes + Net foreign factor income
---- Of course, to remember this we also need to remember the components
of national income:
= Wages/salaries (plus fringe benefits and tips) + Small business income + Big business profits + Interest + Rents (net of depreication)
= about 82% of GDP.
[In class we saw an overhead of Case & Fair's Table 7.2, "Components of GDP, 1997: The Expenditure Approach" (p.137).]
-- Personal Consumption expenditures, as we saw earlier, make
up more than two-thirds of GDP. We can categorize the items that
we consume into:
---- durable goods (things that last three or more years; usually "big-ticket items" like cars, dishwashers, refrigerators)
---- nondurable goods (things that are used up fairly quickly, like groceries, paper, pencils)
---- services (things we buy that are not actually physical commodities; see below for examples)
------ About two-thirds of our consumption, and 40% of total GDP, consists of consumption of services.
-- Gross private domestic Investment includes:
---- nonresidential investment (physical plant and equipment -- i.e., new capital -- purchased by businesses)
---- residential investment (construction of new houses, apartments, condominiums, etc.)
---- change in business inventories (goods produced by businesses but not sold within the same year; see below)
-- Government purchases of goods and services are almost twice as large at the state & local level (11.5% of GDP) than at the federal level (6.5% of GDP).
-- Net exports in the U.S. are negative and have been since about 1980, meaning that the U.S. has been running a trade deficit (importing more than it exports). Economists tend to think that the trade deficit is somewhat overblown as a national problem.
Two additional, and also useful, measures of national output or income are:
Defn. Net domestic product (NDP) = GDP - Depreciation
-- This is arguably a more useful measure than GDP, since depreciation in a sense makes us poorer, by reducing our capacity to produce goods and services in the future. The only problem with NDP is that depreciation is hard to measure precisely, so we can get a more precise measure of GDP (using the expenditure approach) than we can of NDP.
Defn. Disposable income (after-tax income) = Income - Taxes
-- This is the part of your income that you are able to spend as you see fit. The part that goes into income, payroll, and other taxes is technically income that you've earned but it's income that you never see, so many people consider their disposable income to be the most relevant measure of their income.
[In class we saw an overhead of Case & Fair's Table 7.4 (p. 143),
which shows the difference between GDP, GNP, Net National Product (NNP).]
II. WHAT GETS COUNTED IN GDP AND WHAT DOESN'T?
Repeating two key definitions from last time:
Defn. GDP (gross domestic product): the total market value of all final goods and servicesproduced in a given year by factors of production located within a country (regardless of who owns the factors of production).
Defn. GNP (gross national product): the total market value of all final goods and services produced in a given year by factors of production owned by a country's citizens.
Let's dissect the above definitions:
* "market"-- i.e., the good has to be bought and sold (or available
for sale) in an "above-ground" market. The market must be legal, and
the income or transaction must be reported to the government (for tax purposes).
-- Ex.: I get a haircut. If a barber cut it and reported the income to the government, my payment for it would be counted in GDP. If my wife cut it and didn't report the income, my payment would not be counted in GDP.
* "final goods"-- at the final stage of production; we don't count
intermediate goods or resold goods.
-- Ex.: Production of a new car counts toward GDP. Production of the tires, dashboard, CD player, etc. that come with the car are not part of GDP, because they are intermediate goods used in production of another good. Likewise, if I sold my car, we would not count the sale in GDP.
-- GDP, like the car's final purchase price, is a measure of the VALUE ADDED at each stage of production.
-- Omitting intermediate goods and inputs is crucial to avoid DOUBLE COUNTING.
-- [Refer to Case & Fair's Table 7.1, "Value Added in the Production of a Gallon of Gasoline" (p. 135).]
* "services" -- includes legal, medical, financial, entertainment, auto repair, food services, etc. Everything, in short, from plumbing to flipping burgers to teaching economics.
* "produced"-- as opposed to "sold"
-- unsold inventories, even apples rotting on supermarket shelves, are part of GDP. If they're sold next year, they're still only part of this year's, but not next year's, GDP.
* "factors of production"-- What are they? Labor (L) , physical capital (K), and land (T).
* "located within a country" (GDP) vs. "owned by a country's citizens"
(GNP): this is the difference between GNP and GDP.
---- my teaching services in this classroom: counted in U.S. GNP, because I'm an American citizen, and U.S. GDP.
---- the teaching services of a visiting faculty member from Holland: not in GNP, because he's not a U.S. citizen, but it is in GDP.
---- A car produced at a Subaru plant in Indiana, owned by Japanese but using American labor: some of its output is in GNP; all of its output is in GDP.
---- A car produced at a Subaru plant in Japan: none of its output is in U.S. GNP or GDP.