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Nathan Tankus @NathanTankus
, 11 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Some holiday national accounting tweeting- a sale for NA purposes is a "payment" combined with a corresponding output transfer. Both pieces must be there to contribute to GDP* 1/N
The * is that national accountants regularly invent hypothetical payments like "owner's equivalent rent" in order to include value(s) in GDP. This causes many problems (see especially @jacob_assa's work) which is why @JWMason1 and others want "cash flow GDP" 2/N
The other big issue is the definition of "output". As we've seen, it doesn't include just any currently produced good or service- only those sold or provided an ad hoc imputation. But even still, how is good or service" being defined? 3/N
This is the whole issue of the "production boundary" . i.e. when is a byproduct or outcome "output" and when is it "unproductive"? We generally think of " unproductive" as a classical/Marxist concept, but to the extent the line is drawn anywhere, something is 4/N
Think about it this way- nuclear waste is a kind of "output" of a production process but it doesn't count to GDP because it has no use to be sold for or reused for (implicitly this includes a normative judgment that weapon " use-value" is not "productive") 5/N
A side note on this "byproduct" point is that finding a way to use "waste" energy or materials brings them into the production boundary and increases GDP unless their new "usefulness" decreases output elsewhere. 6/N
one ? @jacob_assa brings up in his work is whether using the payment system should be within the P boundary? Or is the payment system a public good and banks are taking advantage of their place to coerce payment?IoW, are financial fees payment for output or private transfers? 7/N
Even more controversially, do bank loans belong in the production boundary? There is, after all, labor and non-labor inputs involved in their "production" ? But of course, that's not what gives a bank deposit value. It's receivability that does. It's the payment system. 8/N
One very common but underdiscussed area where the production boundary shifted was the move to GDP from GNP itself. Moving from output produced by "nationals" to "residents" meant that "labor time" that was "exported" abroad became "transfer payments" to residents 9/N
In this case, the production boundary between countries shifted (largely in favor of the global north). GDP is nothing more than answering these kinds of questions 100s of times (hence it's inherently a very thought out social construction). 10/N
Hope someone in the void enjoyed this very long, very nerdy holiday tweetstorm. See you soon! 11/11 Fin
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