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Monday, March 3, 2003

Best, Easily Accessed Source for Comparing GDP, Productivity, Per Capita Income in the US, EU, Japan

The EU Commission in Brussels puts out a yearly EU Competitiveness Report, generally well organized and presented. The one for 2001, chapter 2, is the best, most easily accessed source: just 9 pages long, it's loaded with good charts, tables, and some brief discussion of trends that deal with GDP, growth, productivity levels, per capita income, employment growth, and so on. EU, US, Japan 2001 Note that this is in .pdf, which means you have to have Acrobat reader to see it properly. There is an .HTML equivalent, but it scrambles all the charts (the converter programs between the two formats aren't much good . . . and yet, that's odd because between .pdf and Word documents the converters work perfectly. Go ask Microsoft why).

Stat-USA/Gov is an excellent place to start your search for any data on the US. The Bureau of Economic Analysis, an agency in the Commerce Department, handles all the national income stats, and is under constant pressure to revise and update its methodologies as the US economy has shifted from a mfg. economy to an information-based one, with productivity trends and inflation and, for that matter, exports that aren't normally counted as such (e.g., Amazon selling books abroad) are taken into account. The IMF and the OECD are invaluable too, as well as producing important reports and analyses. The UN does this for mainly developing countries, as does the World Bank. Prof Bug will try to get a list of these, along with some accessible scholarly journals, plus a handful of news sources like the NY Times or Die Zeit or Le Monde or the Daily Telegraph, and put them inside the links page (see the bright blue-and-white button above: don't worry, clicking on it won't open up a hornets' nest).

If you don't have Acrobat --- which is put out by Adobe --- you can get it free: run a google search for Acrobat, then download and install. Actually, in a mellow, less bugged out mood than a moment ago, the Buggy Prof has stopped his stinging and just done this for you: Acrobat download