The Impact of Globalization on the Measurement of Economic Statistics

Project Dates

07/01/2008 - 09/30/2010


Institute staff in partnership with National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) examined the effect of globalization on key U.S. economic measures. New research was commissioned for a conference entitled "Measurement Issues Arising from the Growth of Globalization" held in Washington D.C. on November 6-7, 2009 which addressed the effects of globalization on the significance of domestic and imported purchased inputs for economic growth and a range of related economic measures. A planning group of economic experts from academia and the federal statistical agencies assisted in the identification and selection of topics for new research. Another conference on globalization and measurement issues was a part of the 2008 World Congress on the National Accounts and Economic Performance Measures for Nations held on May 13-17, 2008, in Washington, DC. The resulting research and reports address this contentious debate over the impact of offshoring on the U.S. manufacturing sector which has recorded steep employment declines yet strong output growth - a fact reconciled by the notable gains in manufacturing productivity. The research suggests that the dramatic acceleration of imports from developing countries has imparted a significant bias to the official statistics.


Offshoring Bias in U.S. Manufacturing , Susan N. Houseman, Christopher Kurz, Paul Lengermann, Benjamin Mandel. Journal of Economic Perspectives 25(2)(2011)

Not All Productivity Gains Are the Same. Here's Why, Michael Mandel, Susan Houseman. What Matters/McKinsey & Company (June 2011)

Offshoring and Import Price Measurement, Susan N. Houseman. Survey of Current Business (February 2011)

Measuring Offshore Outsourcing and Offshoring: Problems for Economic Statistics, Employment Research (January 2009)

Conference materials: Measurement Issues Arising from the Growth of Globalization, Washington DC, November 6-7, 2009

Missing Pieces: A New Report to Congress Details Biases and Gaps in Economic Statistics Resulting from Globalization, Susan Houseman, Employment Research (October 2010)


Bureau of Economic Analysis; Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Subject Area