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The total incomes system of accounts.

The Total Incomes System of Accounts

This article presents a set of accounts of total income and product and associated capital stocks for the United States, in current and constant dollars, for selected years from 1946 to 1981.1 As its name--total incomes system of accounts (TISA)-- suggests, these accounts are designed to include the income corresponding to all consumption and capital accumulation, whether or not these relate to production for the market and regardless of the sector in which goods and services are produced or capital accumulated.

1. Previous presentations of these accounts or parts of them are found in Robert Eisner, "Total Incomes in the United States, 1959 and 1969,' Review of Income and Wealth, ser. 24 (March 1978): 41-70; idem, "Capital Gains and Income: Real Changes in the Value of Capital in the United States, 1946-77,' in The Measurement of Capital, Studies in Income and Wealth, vol. 45, ed. Dan Usher (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980); idem, "Total Income, Total Investment, and Growth,' American Economic Review 70 (May 1980): 225-231; Eisner and David H. Nebhut, "An Extended Measure of Government Product: Preliminary Results for the United States, 1946-76,' Review of Income and Wealth, ser. 27 (May 1981); 33-64; and Eisner, Emily R. Simons, Paul J. Pieper, and Steven Bender, "Total Incomes in the United States, 1946-1976: A Summary Report,' Review of Income and Wealth, ser. 28 (June 1982): 133-174.

Pursuing a number of themes advanced by Simon Kuznets some four decades ago, TISA picks among and combines elements in the United Nations system of national accounts and in work of Ruggles and Ruggles, Juster, Nordhaus and Tobin, Kendrick, and others to build upon a central core of BEA's national income and product accounts.2 However, it goes beyond, or differs from, the BEA accounts in the following major respects.

2. See Nancy Ruggles and Richard Ruggles, The Design of Economic Accounts (New York: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1970); idem, "A Proposal for a System of Economic and Social Accounts,' in The Measurement of Economic and Social Performance, and ed. Milton Moss (New York: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1973); idem, "Integrated Economic Accounts of the United States, 1947-80,' SURVEY OF CURRENT BUSINESS 62 (May 1982): 1-53; F. Thomas Juster, "A Framework for the Measurement of Economic and Social Performance,' in the Measurement of Economic and Social Performance; and William D. Nordhaus and James Tobin, "Is Growth Obsolete?' in The Measurement of Economic and Social Performance; and John W. Kendrick, The Formation and Stocks of Total Capital (New York: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1976).

First, TISA embraces a broader spectrum of production than do the BEA accounts. TISA counts nonmarket, as well as market, product in all sectors, and this product includes intangible, as well as tangible, capital accumulation. Among the major items of nonmarket product are the services of government and household capital, the services of unpaid household labor, and the opportunity costs of students' time.

Second, TISA abandons the BEA definition of final product. (a) Services such as those of national defense, roads, and police, which are final product in the BEA accounts, are classified as intermediate product in TISA. The value of business product as estimated by BEA is then reduced by the amount of intermediate product received from government. (b) A portion of commercial media services of television, radio, newspapers, and magazines--intermediate business purchases in the BEA accounts--is counted in TISA as final product. The value or cost of a movie on television paid for by business advertising is counted as much as a movie paid for at the theater box office. (c) Expenses related to work are subtracted from income and product, while the values of employee training and human capital formation are added.

Third, TISA generally values output at factor cost and departs on more occasions than do the BEA accounts from valuation at market prices. In particular, TISA includes subsidies in the value of output and makes imputations for the services of volunteer labor and for the difference between the opportunity costs of military conscripts and jurors and what they are paid.

Fourth, TISA provides, in addition to a national income and product account, separate sector income and product accounts for business, nonprofit institutions, government enterprises, government, and households. This structure contrasts in several ways with that of the BEA accounts as represented by the summary five-account system.3 Very fundamentally, different kinds of accounts supplement each system's national income and product account. The TISA sector accounts are deconsolidations of the national income and product account --that is, they provide detail on income and product by sector. (The only such sector detail provided by BEA is for corporate business.) The BEA accounts provide sector income and outlary--that is, appropriation-- accounts and a consolidated saving and investment account for the domestic sectors. Further, the TISA sector accounts are for five domestic sectors, whereas the BEA sector accounts are for persons (including both households and nonprofit institutions), for government, and for the rest of the world as represented by foreigners in their transactions with the United States. Finally, within the TISA account structure, the location of several items--for example, investment in owner-occupied housing--differs from that in the BEA accounts, and several new items--mainly related to services of tangible capital and to intangible capital--are placed within it.

3. For a brief description of the five-account summary of the BEA national income and product accounts, see Ruggles and Ruggles, "Integrated Economic Accounts,' pp. 6-8, and Carol S. Carson and George Jaszi, "The National Income and Product Accounts of the United States: An Overview,' SURVEY 61 (February 1981): 22-28.

Fifth, in contrast to the BEA accounts, which apply inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments to exclude changes in the value of existing assets, TISA includes gross and net revaluations of tangible assets. Gross revaluations--that is, changes in nominal values (net, of course, of net investment)--permit the integration of flows of investment and stocks of capital at current replacement cost. Net revaluations-- that is, changes in nominal values minus changes in value attributable to changes in the general level of prices--on tangible capital are included as components of capital accumulation and of income and product. Thus, current-dollar net investment equals the current-dollar value of the real change in net worth, whether due to acquisition of newly produced capital or changes in the value of existing capital.

TISA is not intended as a substitute for the BEA national income and product accounts, but as a supplement to them. The BEA accounts have been hailed appropriately as the best available comprehensive measure of the course of the economy and of overwhelming value in economic analysis and policy formation. But they have also been criticized as inadequate measures of total current consumption and investment and, hence, of economic welfare. TISA may offer some useful additional insights.

For those interested in the contribution of investment to growth, attention is directed to TISA series on total capital formation, public as well as private, human as well as nonhuman. For those looking for measures of current welfare, TISA series on consumption services, including those of durables and other services provided without concurrent market transactions, may be relevant. Those concerned with factor shares in income and output may make use of various imputations of labor and capital services. Net revaluations, or real capital gains and losses, may serve particularly in measuring returns to capital and in developing more robust measures of relations involving consumption and saving.

While there may be some novelty-- or substantial improvisation--in various TISA estimates, most of the series are in considerable part rearrangements or extensions of measures provided by other investigators or already in the BEA accounts or other government statistics. Many, although not all, of the parts will appear familiar, but the whole will offer a new, integrated set of accounts, which may open new paths of analysis as it is subjected to professional scrutiny and use.

In the four sections that follow, this article first indicates, in some detail, the structure of the TISA national income and product account. Next, it describes the structure of the sector accounts and introduces the underlying methodology for major items of special interest. The third section reviews briefly the constant-dollar and capital stock series. Finally, the fourth section presents substantive highlights. The accounts are presented following the text in tables 1-15.

I. National Income and Product

The TISA national income and product account, table 1, shows gross national product (GNP) as the sum of credits, and charges against GNP as the sum of debits. As in the BEA accounts, GNP in TISA is a measure of the value of goods and services produced by labor and property supplied by residents of the United States.


The TISA income and nonincome charges on the debit side of the account include, first, a vastly expanded measure of labor income. In terms of 1981 figures, which are generally used in this presentation, BEA's $1,769 billion for monetary and imputed compensation of employees is supplemented by $1,502 billion of additional imputations to bring total labor income, after deduction of $63 billion for expenses (for travel) related to work, to $3,209 billion.4 The imputations include $74 billion for employee training, $25 billion for expense account items of consumption, and $139 billion for labor income of the self-employed. By far the largest items, however, are opportunity costs of students, $284 billion, and unpaid household work, $981 billion--alone over one-half as much again as compensation of employees.

4. The BEA figures included in TISA are as published in, or consistent with, those published in the July 1983 SURVEY. For reference, the addenda to tables 1 and 7 show selected BEA aggregates.

Several forms of income from property are measured separately. Imputed rental income of owner-occupied nonfarm dwellings, as in the BEA accounts, is included in national income. For the TISA measure, however, the BEA rental income is reduced by net imputed interest, which, in TISA, is part of capital income. Hence, the TISA rental income amounts to only $9 billion.

Capital income of $370 billion encompasses monetary and imputed interest. It includes, in addition to business interest paid, imputed interest on nonbusiness land, dwellings, structures and equipment, consumer durables and semidurables, and inventories.5 (The methodology for gross imputed interest of the nonbusiness sectors, which is to apply a rate of return to a capital stock, is illustrated in the subsection on the nonprofit sector account.)

5. Consumer semidurables consist of shoes and other footwear, clothing and accessories except footwear, and semidurable house furnishings. See table A.

Business profits (net of interest) go into the net operating surplus of $248 billion. The operating surplus includes, in addition to BEA corporate profits (with inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments), gross business investment in research and development (R&D) of $34 billion, which--like any other item considered investment--is not charged against current income; government enterprise surpluses of $12 billion; and net rental income of persons of $28 billion. To arrive at proprietors' capital income of negative $19 billion, which is also included, $139 billion of imputed labor income of the self-employed is subtracted from the BEA estimate of $120 billion for proprietors' income.

TISA includes "net revaluations' in an effort to get closer to a consistent theoretical measure of income as what can be consumed while keeping real net worth constant. As noted earlier, net revaluations are the change in nominal value of tangible capital-- land, dwellings, structures and equipment, consumer durables and semidurables, and inventories--minus the change in nominal value necessary to match changes in the general level of prices. Tangible capital prices over 1946-81 have generally increased more rapidly than the implicit price deflator for GNP. Net revaluations were thus generally positive and frequently very substantially so. In 1981, however, they were a sharply negative $154 billion. Net surplus, the sum of net operating surplus and net revaluations, was thus reduced to $94 billion in 1981.

National income of $3,682 billion is, then, the sum of labor income, rental income, capital income, net operating surplus, and net revaluations. Because TISA includes income earned in producing intangible capital, intangible capital consumption allowances are charged against TISA GNP. These amounted to $402 billion, $51 billion on R&D capital and $351 billion on human capital. TISA net national income of $3,279 billion is then comparable to the BEA national income of $2,373 billion; both national income estimates are measured net of the capital consumption allowances associated with the investment included in GNP.

TISA business transfer payments were $33 billion in 1981. They include, in addition to the BEA's $13 billion, $16 billion of entertainment and other consumer services on radio and television and in the print media that are paid for by business, and $5 billion of health and safety benefits given to workers. TISA shows, as another nonincome charge against product, uncompensated factor services of $19 billion. These include a small amount for jurors and $18 billion for the services of volunteers in nonprofit, institutions, particularly, in hospitals, schools, and churches. Earlier years showed substantial amounts for military draftees, but now, without conscription, this imputation is zero.

Because TISA considers government product in part intermediate and subtracts from BEA's GNP and gross business product the value of intermediate government product estimated to be transferred to business, it must correspondingly reduce the charges against GNP. It is convenient to view indirect business taxes (nonprofit and government enterprise taxes are treated separately) as a way of paying for government services to production, for which the income and nonincome charges have already been included. Accordingly, TISA subtracts the value of intermediate product transferred from government to business, $121 billion, from indirect business taxes. Finally, TISA adds nothing (except trivial rounding errors) to the BEA statistical discrepancy.

These nonincome charges bring TISA net national product (NNP) to $3,425 billion, which may be compared to the BEA NNP of $2,625 billion. Capital consumption allowances add $1,135 billion, $733 billion on tangible capital and $402 billion on intangible capital. These allowances are broken into components relating to the original cost of capital and those relating to revaluations (BEA's capital consumption adjustment of consistent accounting at original cost to current replacement cost). The bottom line of $4,560 billion is charges against TISA GNP, as against the BEA GNP of $2,954 billion. The TISA and BEA GNP's are pershps less comparable than the NNP's, however, because of TISA's added product and capital consumption allowances relating to nonbusiness and intangible capital.


The credit side of the TISA national income and product account includes consumption of $2,856 billion and gross domestic capital accumulation of $1,678 billion, both of which differ substantially from their BEA counterparts, as detailed in what follows. The remaining credit item is net exports, and it is the same as BEA's net exports of $26 billion. (TISA and BEA distributions of product by type of product are contrasted in chart 5.)

For consumption, the BEA measure of personal consumption expenditures is basically changed to arrive at a measure that includes, rather than expenditures for consumer durables and semidurables (both of which are treated as investment in TISA), the value of their services. These capital services are measured as the sum of capital consumption and a net imputed return. The items that accomplish this substitution and other changes that reconcile the BEA and TISA measures of consumption are shown, for convenience, in table A.

As indicated there, this change begins with a number of TISA exclusions. First, TISA subtracts several items from BEA personal consumption expenditures: consumer purchases of durables and semidurables, the current expenditures of nonprofit institutions, medical care investment not already subtracted with durables, change in household inventories, and most BEA imputations (including that for net space rent of owner-occupied nonfarm housing). These subtractions leave in the TISA measure of consumption $1,088 billion of expenditures on services and nondurables included in BEA personal consumption expenditures. TISA subtracts, further, expenses related to work, which were estimated at $44 billion in 1981.

TISA then puts back the excluded BEA imputations and adds a number of others, some of major import. Among these, expense account items of consumption, including but not limited to the notorious three-martini lunch, amount to $25 billion. Miscellaneous BEA imputations--for the rental value of buildings and equipment owned by nonprofit institutions serving individuals; meals, clothing, and lodging furnished by employers; food and fuel produced and consumed on farms; and checking and other financial services furnished to persons without explicit charge--come to $44 billion. Also, because the TISA measure of output is generally at factor cost rather than market prices, TISA consumption includes the portion of subsidies, put at $7 billion (excluding subsidies to owner-occupied nonfarm housing), related to consumption.

TISA then adds $280 billion for "transfers' of consumption services to households from other sectors. These include: $15 billion from business in the form of media support and provisions for health and safety; $81 billion from nonprofit institutions in the form chiefly of health, education, and religious services beyond what consumers paid for; $6 billion from government enterprises from the sale of goods and services below cost; and, by far the largest item, $178 billion from government for a variety of services, such as those of roads and parks, for which households would presumably have had to pay directly, rather than by taxes, had they been furnished by private industry.

More than one-half of TISA consumption consists of $1,455 billion of nonmarket services produced in households. In addition to $179 billion for the net space rent of owner-occupied nonfarm dwellings included by BEA (plus subsidies to such housing), TISA includes $332 billion for the capital services of consumer durables and semidurables and of inventories. As noted earlier, these services are substituted for the BEA item for corresponding personal consumption expenditures for durables and semidurables. The value of the services proves smaller than the BEA item in 1981, because the net imputed return is less than the excess of current expenditures over capital consumption.

Finally, TISA puts the value of nonmarket labor services in households in 1981 at $1,265 billion. (The methodology is summarized in the subsection on the household sector account.) Of this total, however, $321 billion is allocated to investment, generally in the form of health and education of household members. Thus, $944 billion remains for the preparation of meals, cleaning clothes, care of children, and other unpaid housework counted as provision of consumption services.

TISA gross domestic capital accumulation, $1,678 billion in 1981, as may be noted in the reconciliation presented in table B, is far larger than BEA gross private domestic investment. The BEA figure of $475 billion includes only investment in structures and equipment by private business and nonprofit institutions, additions to inventories by private business, and (what TISA counts as household) investment in owner-occupied nonfarm housing. TISA sets forth explicitly the $10 billion of investment in structures and equipment by nonprofit institutions and, in addition, includes $22 billion of such investment by government enterprises, $103 billion by government (including, in this case, $27 billion of product accumulated in natural resources), and additional investment by households of $236 billion in durables and $126 billion in semidurables.

Reconciliation items are needed to bring sector sums in line with corresponding BEA totals because the prices at which intersector transactions are carried in the two data sources differ. These items, plus investment in inventories--including that by government and households-- are part of the $973 billion in total gross domestic tangible capital accumulation at original cost. Intangible investment is almost as large, $850 billion. This total consists of: $69 billion in R&D investment by business, nonprofit institutions, and government; $640 billion of investment in the "stock' of education of the American people; and $142 billion of investment in their health. The value of subsidies and government enterprise transfers allocated to investment comes to another $9 billion.

To arrive at total capital accumulation, TISA adds net revaluations on tangible capital--in 1981, a negative figure of $154 billion, as already noted. The negative net revaluations were due to capital losses (after adjustment for inflation) of $142 billion on land, $35 billion on consumer durables and semidurables, and $28 billion on inventories. There were, however, capital gains of $18 billion on structures and equipment owned by business and $51 billion on government structures and equipment. Homeowners lost $14 billion after adjustment for inflation, and nonprofit institutions lost $4 billion.

The net export figure is the last item. That figure brings TISA GNP in 1981 to $4,560 billion. Without net revaluations, TISA GNP of $4,714 billion was 59.6 percent larger than BEA GNP. Because much of TISA product is additional capital accumulation that requires additional capital consumption allowances, the excess, again without net revaluations, of TISA NNP of $3,578 billion over BEA's NNP is considerably less, 36.3 percent.

II. The Sector Accounts

Total TISA GNP is the sum of the product of each of the domestic sectors plus BEA's net product attributed to the rest of the world. Because the TISA measures reflect a substantial amount of nonmarket output of nonbusiness sectors, it is useful to set forth the full sector accounts. They make clear the major roles played by the government and household sectors in the production of goods and services and the contrasts to be drawn with the corresponding BEA sectors. (TISA and BEA distributions of product by sector are contrasted in chart 6.)

Unlike BEA's income and outlay accounts, the TISA sector accounts relate income and product. In each account, the TISA credits total to gross sector product--the sector's contribution to GNP, that is, its value added. TISA debits are the charges against gross sector products. In the business sector, the foundation is the BEA gross domestic business product and the charges against it. Various additions and subtractions on the credit side arrive at TISA gross business product, and corresponding adjustments are made to the debits. In all of the other sectors, total product is calculated on the debit side, utilizing estimates of market transactions from BEA and a number of imputations for labor and property income and for nonincome costs or charges. Gross product of each sector other than business and, in part, government enterprises, is allocated, along with intermediate product from other sectors, to consumption and capital accumulation and, in the case of government, to intermediate product.


The TISA business sector comprises the BEA business sector less owner-occupied nonfarm dwellings, government enterprises, and buildings and equipment owned by nonprofit institutions. The TISA business sector account, table 2, entails subtractions, corresponding to these exclusions, from BEA's gross domestic product of business, along with a number of additions.

As in the national account, additions to BEA-type product are made to reflect the altered scope of final product. Subsidies received by business are included in the value of final product so that product, not merely income, is at factor cost. Expense account items of consumption and the value of employee training are included in final product and, on the debit side, in labor income. Business R&D is also counted as final product, to go into the total of investment rather than to be expensed, as in BEA practice. The portion of expenditures for advertising that supports entertainment for viewers, listeners, and readers is allocated to final product rather than wiped out as intermediate purchases of one firm from another. Business provision for health and safety of employees is also counted, as noted earlier, as a business transfer payment entering into final product.

Among the items subtracted, several are moved to nonbusiness sectors: space rent of owner-occupied nonfarm dwellings, to the household sector; the product of government enterprises, to the government enterprise sector; and the rental value of buildings and equipment owned (and used) by nonprofit institutions serving individuals, to the nonprofit sector. Expenses related to work are subtracted, as they would be in the BEA accounts if employers incurred them by providing transportation to the job. Finally, $121 billion of intermediate product from government--covering services such as those of defense, roads, and police--is also subtracted. With negative net revaluations of $107 billion in 1981, the BEA gross domestic product of business of $2,509 billion is thus reduced to a TISA gross business product of $2,135 billion. Without net revaluations, TISA gross business product of $2,241 billion is 10.7 percent less than BEA's gross domestic product of business.

Nonprofit institutions

Total product of the nonprofit sector, as in the case of all the nonbusiness sectors, is estimated on the debit side of the account, shown in table 3. It is the sum of the incomes of the labor and capital the sector uses, net revaluations, and capital consumption allowances. Labor income of $86 billion in 1981 consists overwhelmingly of compensation of employees, with a small addition for employee training and a $4 billion subtraction for expenses related to work. The value of output produced by labor also includes $18 billion that is imputed--on the basis of estimates of time spent in volunteer activities and the average wage of nonsupervisory service industry workers--to volunteer services.

Capital income of $6 billion is imputed gross interest on land, structures and equipment, and residential property. It is calculated by applying to the average of each year's beginning and ending stocks (see the section on capital stocks) a weighted average of the after-tax rate of return to household and business capital. This rate of return is obtained by dividing an estimate of total return--the sum of after-tax corporate profits, proprietors' capital income, interest paid by business and on owner-occupied nonfarm housing, rental income, and imputed interest on household capital, less personal taxes on business capital --by the total stock of business and household tangible capital. Negative net revaluations of $5 billion and capital consumption allowances of $8 billion are then added, to bring gross nonprofit product to $113 billion.

On the credit side of the account, the total of this product, expenses related to work, intermediate product purchased, and intermediate product transferred from government is allocated between consumption and capital accumulation. Consumption includes $63 billion accounted for by expenditures in BEA personal consumption expenditures and an additional imputation, amounting to $18 billion, of a portion of the services of capital, as measured by net imputed interest, and of volunteers. The capital accumulation total of $66 billion includes something over $1 billion in R&D, $34 billion in education and training, $36 billion in health (which is, by assumption, one-half of the value of health product), and again $5 billion of negative net revaluations.

Government enterprises

Product of government enterprises, in table 4, is estimated on the debit side of the account as the sum of labor income, $37 billion in 1981, measured net of expenses related to work; capital income and surpluses of $12 billion; and trivial net revaluations. The surpluses are the sum of the $6 billion that is the BEA item called the current surplus of government enterprises, which is the net of the positive surpluses and negative surpluses--that is, losses--for the various categories of government enterprises, and the almost equal amount that is the sum of the absolute values of negative BEA surpluses. The latter, again, are included in order to measure product in terms of factor cost rather than, necessarily, the market value of sales.

There are no capital consumption allowances, and imputed capital income is very small, because all of the product of tangible government enterprise capital, other than inventories, is attributed to government itself. One consideration underlying this procedure is that governments often incur direct expenditures for the provision of fixed capital to government enterprises, so that the enterprises do not, in fact, then cover capital costs in their sales. The most important consideration, however, is the need to allocate the imputed product of this capital by functions in which it was employed, and information for this allocation was generally available only for capital of government and government enterprises combined.

As with the business sector, the credit side of the government enterprise account starts with a measure of the market value of sales, minus, of course, purchases of intermediate goods. Because there is no independent information on intermediate goods, government enterprise net sales becomes the balancing item between total credits and total debits. Credits must also include, then, the value of product not paid for by the $43 billion of sales net of purchases. Thus, the credit side shows $11 billion of transfers, stemming from imputed capital income and negative surpluses that government enterprises do not cover in their receipts, intermediate product from government less indirect taxes, and employee training expenditures. The allocation of these transfers between consumption and capital accumulation, admittedly ad hoc, is based on proportions in the rest of the economy.


The TISA government sector account, table 5, differs fundamentally from that of BEA. TISA product originating in government includes not only the value of compensation of employees or, more generally, labor income, which came to $318 billion in 1981; it also includes the value of capital services, the sum of $69 billion of imputed capital income and $91 billion of capital consumption allowances, as well as $25 billion of net revaluations. In addition, TISA includes the value of uncompensated factor services--a tiny item of less than $1 billion for jury duty in 1981, but a larger amount in earlier years during military conscription.

The total of these debit items is gross government product, $504 billion in 1981. This product plus the value of intermediate purchases from other sectors and expenses related to work, but minus change in inventories and net revaluations, must then be allocated among consumption, capital accumulation, and intermediate product to other sectors. The allocation, which also determines the part to be retained by government and the part transferred to other sectors (because government output is not, of course, generally sold) involves a complicated three-step procedure. First, BEA government expenditures by type of function are reclassified into 10 broad functions: defense (including police and fire protection), space, education and training, health, housing and community services, transportation and mobility, local parks and recreation, natural resources, welfare, and general administration. Second, the published data are adjusted to derive TISA measures of product by function. Third, for each function, product is allocated to consumption, investment, and intermediate product and among sectors.

Among the major allocation, services of defense, transportation, and general administration are generally counted as intermediate to other government production or to the output of other sectors. One-half of the cost of manned space flights, which may be taken as their entertainment value, is viewed as consumption, along with major portions of the product associated with local parks and recreation and of the transportation product going to households. Education and training is considered an output in the form of capital that is transferred to households. Health services are counted as one-half going to human capital accumulation in households and one-half maintenance, or current consumption. Investment in natural resources is counted as capital accumulated by government. Housing and community services and welfare are designated as consumption. R&D expenditures, associated with the defense and space functions, are viewed as creating an output that is partly retained in government as a stock of R&D knowledge and partly transferred to business.

On the basis of these allocations, government contributes $130 billion of consumption services to households in 1981. Government production of capital amounts to $315 billion. Of this, $25 billion is in the form of R&D expenditures viewed as of direct use to business, and $255 billion of output in the form of capital that goes to households. The latter includes $225 billion in education and training, mainly the cost of public schools, and $30 billion in health services. The Government retains $35 billion of the capital it produces, $8 billion in R&D, and $27 billion in natural resources. Further, government contributes $234 billion of services that are intermediate to the output of other sectors, chiefly $121 billion to business and $103 billion to the household sector.


Gross household product, in table 6, is the sum of labor income, $1,271 billion in 1981, $143 billion of capital income, and $360 billion of tangible capital consumption, plus negative net revaluations of $66 billion. Gross household product in 1981 was thus $1,709 billion--only moderately smaller than gross business product of $2,134 billion.

Actual compensation of employees in households is, of course, very minor--only the $7 billion, in 1981, denoted by BEA as household product. The big items in labor income in the household sector are the imputations for the opportunity costs of students, $284 billion, and for unpaid household work, $981 billion. In view of the size of these items some more extended discussion of their derivation may be in order.

Opportunity costs of students relate to those 14 years of age and over. The estimates were originally prepared by Kendrick for 1946-69 and 1973.$f6$f They are based on wages estimated to be available at the relevant ages and school enrollments. Kendrick's estimates were entended largely on the basis of later enrollment figures and changes in average annual compensation of the total labor force, which were taken to be proportional to changes in compensation available to students.

6. Kendrick, The Formation and Stocks of Total Capital and unpublished tables.

The value of unpaid household work is taken conservatively to be the product of annual hours in relevant household activities and the average hourly compensation of household domestic workers. The time estimates were derived from the Michigan Survey Research Center time use studies of 1965, 1975, and 1981, with the 1975 survey used as the benchmark. Mean weekly use of time in a set of household activities related to what is classified as nonmarket output was calculated for respondents and spouses, each cross-classified by sex and as employed or nonemployed. Corresponding figures for 1965 were derived by applying the rates of change indicated on a 1965-75 "comparison tape' to the 1975 data. For 1981, a panel of common respondents in 1975 and 1981 was used to derive age-adjusted rates of change between those years, and these were applied to the 1975 data to secure estimates of mean time use in each of the four categories. Estimates for 1966-74 and 1976-80 were derived by geometric interpolation. Mean time use for 1946-64, however, was taken to be the same as in 1965. The mean annual time use per person in each category in each year was multiplied by the applicable number of persons in the Nation to derive figures for total time in activities related to ordinary housework as well as education of children, medical and health services, volunteer activities, and travel to work.

The capital income attributed to households consists of two items. The largest is $101 billion for owner-occupied nonfarm dwellings. Of this, $91 billion is gross imputed interest, leaving only some $9 billion for net rental income. The remaining $43 billion is imputed interest on the stock of consumer goods held by households.

Capital consumption allowances on intangible capital amounted to $351 billion. These are subtracted to get a measure of net income originating, after including net revaluations, of $997 billion. The intangible capital consumption allowances, along with tangible capital consumption allowances, are added back to get total gross household product.

Before this product is allocated between consumption and capital accumulation, $103 billion of intermediate product transferred from government and the $1 billion for expenses of domestic employees related to travel to work must be added. After accounting for $19 billion of consumer durable capital services relates to travel to work by members of households, $1,511 billion of household product is consumed and $283 billion of product is invested. Of the nonmarket product, $179 billion is the net space rent of owner-occupied nonfarm dwellings and $332 billion is the value of other capital services, essentially from the stock of consumer goods. Of imputed labor services, $944 billion are counted as consumption, and the remaining $321 billion go to capital accumulation.

Most of that capital accumulation is the $284 billion for education, which is equal to the opportunity cost of students and is considered intangible capital accumulated in the household. In addition, $27 billion is for the value of time devoted to teaching children in the home and $18 billion is for intermediate product of government to education. One-half of the value of time devoted to health, $13 billion, is also counted as investment. Net revaluations in 1981 amounted to capital accumulation of negative $66 billion.

III. Constant-Dollar Accounts and Capital Stock Series

The constant-dollar accounts, tables 7-12 are generally analogous to the credit sides of the current-dollar accounts. The addenda to table 7 show constant-dollar NNP and net national income as well as the nonincome charges against product that must be subtracted from GNP to derive them. Table C shows summary statistics for all years 1946-81.

Constant-dollar series for the BEA-based components of TISA are taken directly, where possible, from (usually unpublished) BEA tables. For other items, implicit price delators provided by BEA, or constructed from BEA series or from combinations of BEA series and non-BEA TISA components, are used to deflate current-dollar measures.

With regard to capital accumulation, constant-dollar sectoral investment figures were taken from BEA capital stock series.$f7$f Investment in household inventories is the difference between successive end-of-year stocks calculated on the assumption that nondurable household goods have a 2-week life. Net revaluations in constant dollars are calculated with the implicit price deflator for fixed investment.

7. BEA estimates of the stock of privately owned and government-owned durable equipment and structures and of durable goods owned by consumers for 1925-79, as well as investment series used to prepare the estimates, are in Fixed Reproducible Tanigible Wealth in the United States, 1925-79 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1982). Updated and revised estimates, which were used for the period beginning in 1973, are available from BEA.

As is BEA procedure, components of income are not generally offered in constant dollars. Since, however, in all sectors except business, total product is estimated on the debit side, in a number of important instances current-dollar debit figures must be deflated in order to get the constant-dollar credit items that depend upon them. Thus, for example, the deflator for personal consumption expenditures is applied to opportunity costs of students, and a domestic wage deflator is applied to unpaid household work.

TISA departs from convention for net exports and applies essentially the alternative "command' concept presented by BEA.$F8$F Instead of defining net exports as constant-dollar exports minus constant-dollar imports, TISA defines them as current-dollar net exports divided by the GNP implicit price deflator. With this measure of net exports, constant-dollar GNP better reflects the goods and services actually available to the residents of the United States. TISA net exports in constant dollars thus equal the conventional BEA net exports plus a "terms of trade effect,' reflecting the fact that more or less U.S. goods must be produced to get a given real quantity of foreign goods. In 1981, the terms of trade effect amounted to minus $30 billion 1972 dollars, converting a $43 billion BEA net export surplus to one of only $13 billion in TISA.

8. See Edward F. Denison, "International Transactions in Measures of the Nation's Production,' SURVEY 61 (May 1981): 17-28.

The capital stock series in current and constant dollars, shown in tables 13 and 14 with corresponding implicit price deflators in table 15, are consistent with the income and product accounts. Constant-dollar capital stocks at the end of each year in each sector equal capital stocks at the end of the previous year plus gross capital accumulation (including net transfer of capital into the sector), minus capital consumption allowances. Current-dollar capital stocks equal previous stocks plus gross capital accumulation (includes net transfers), minus current-cost capital consumption allowances, plus gross revaluations. (Net revaluations of tangible capital in the income and product accounts may then be calculated from the gross revaluations by netting out the portion attributable to changes in the general level of prices.)

Tangible capital stocks other than land are generally BEA series.$f9$f Consistent with the inclusion of all investment in the TISA income and product accounts, the capital stocks include residential and nonresidential structures and equipment in all sectors --government, government enterprises, and households, as well as business and nonprofit institutions-- and, for households, durables, semi-durables, and inventories, along with housing. The separate estimates of land in all sectors are usually from series provided by the Flow of Funds Section of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

9. See footnote 7.

Intangible capital relates either to R&D, credited to the business and government accounts, or to health or education and training. Stocks related to the latter, wherever produced, are deemed human capital owned by households.

The methodology for intangible capital stock series is largely similar to that employed by Kendrick.$f10$f Where possible, his series are used for the years he covered, and they are extrapolated and interpolated, with the aid of associated series, for other years. His investment in mobility and basic child-rearing is excluded, however, while TISA adds the value of time spent in education and in medical care in the home.

10. Kandrick, The Formation and Stocks of Total Capital and unpublished tables.

TISA employs the gross simplifying assumption that most human capital is general--that is, not tied to any particular job or occupation--and that general human capital has a service life of 50 years. However, for employee training, military education, and safety and health spending by business, 40 percent of the investment is assumed to be specific--that is, useful to employees only as only as they remain in the provided. Service lives the capital was provided. Service lives for specific capital are assumed to be equal to the average length of employment in the sector in which it is produced. As indicated earlier, only one-half services is considered investment. The inference that much of the noninvestment half is for "maintenance' of the elderly may support the reasonableness of the assumption of the 50-year average life for general health capital.

R&D investment series are generally from the National Science Foundation. Applied R&D capital is assumed to have a service life of 20 years, and basic R&D capital is assumed to last forever.

IV. Substantive Highlights

In 1981, TISA NNP was 30 percent more than the BEA NNP, and 36 percent more if the negative net revaluations of that year are excluded (table D). Constant-dollar TISA GNP was 53 percent more than BEA GNP in 1981, and 57 percent more if the negative net revaluations are excluded.

The difference between TISA and BEA measures of product relates preponderantly to TISA's inclusion of nonmarket product. Over one-half is accounted for by the TISA imputation for the product of unpaid household labor. The remainder is made up mostly of opportunity costs of students and capital services in households, government, and nonprofit institutions. The latter was 14.9 percent of TISA GNP in 1981. TISA imputations of labor income were 32.9 percent of TISA GNP, thus bringing total labor income, even after deduction of expenses related to work, to 81 percent more than BEA's compensation of employees.

TISA picks up a great deal of what may be viewed as capital formation that is not encompassed in the BEA definitions of gross and net private domestic investment. BEA's gross private domestic investment--tangible investment by business and nonprofit institutions along with housing--accounted for only 25.9 percent of TISA gross capital accumulation excluding net revaluations in 1981. The constant-dollar figure was 24.2 percent. TISA net domestic capital accumulation in current dollars was 19.5 percent of TISA NNP, both excluding net revaluations; BEA net private domestic investment, by contrast, was only 5.5 percent of BEA NNP. Further, BEA net private domestic investment was only 20.9 percent of TISA net domestic capital accumulation excluding net revaluations and 60.7 percent of TISA net tangible capital accumulation at original cost.

Similar proportions show up in the measures of capital stocks. Business nonresidential structures and equipment, to which must attention is usually given as a source of productivity, amounted to 11.2 percent of total TISA capital in all sectors--including intangible capital as well as land and reproducible tangible capital--of some $24 trillion at the end of 1981. Structures and equipment in government came to 6.3 percent and in government enterprises to another 1.8 percent, and the household stock of consumer durables and residential capital came to 13.2 percent. The stock of intangible capital in the form of R&D was 2.7 percent of the total, and intangible human capital from investment in education and training and in health came to 45.0 percent. Instangible capital, thus, was almost one-half --47.7 percent--of the total stock of capital in 1981, while tangible reproducible capital amounted to only 41.1 percent, and land, 11.3 percent.

Over the long run, there has apparently been some substitution of the market output generally measured in the BEA GNP for the nonmarket output also included in TISA. Thus, while the average annual rate of growth of BEA real GNP was 3.35 percent from 1946 to 1981, that growth rate for TISA GNP excluding net revaluations was only 2.68 percent. Corresponding growth rates for BEA and TISA real NNP were 3.24 percent and 2.74 percent, respectively. Including net revaluations, the average growth rate of TISA GNP was 3.21 percent, but that reflected considerably the negative net revaluations for 1946.

Substantially negative net revaluations in 1981 contributed to lower real rates of growth in the 1976-81 period for TISA measures of total product and, particularly, capital accumulation. Excluding net revaluations, however, a marked decline in the real rate of growth of TISA gross domestic capital accumulation is still apparent--to 3.04 percent for 1966-71 and only 2.37 percent for 1971-76 and 2.43 percent for 1976-81, compared with 4.36 percent and 4.83 percent in the two previous decades. Despite much concern expressed in some quarters, BEA gross private domestic investment actually had a substantially larger real rate of growth in 1976-81, 4.28 percent, than the 3.39 percent over the entire 1946-81 period. (BEA net investment grew less rapidly, but that may reflect some distortion in the capital consumption adjustment.) The rate of growth of tangible government capital accumulation at original cost was only 2.32 percent (4.87 percent for government enterprises), compared with 3.44 percent for business, 4.45 percent for nonprofit institutions, and 3.80 percent for households.

Of particular note are the relative growth rates of tangible and intangible investment. Over the entire 1946-81 period, constant-dollar tangible capital accumulation at original cost grew at an average annual rate of 3.94 percent, while intangible capital accumulation grew at a rate of 3.53 percent. Contrasts over subperiods, however, are sharper. Tangible capital accumulation showed declining growth rates in the first two decades --6.06 percent and 4.00 percent-- and then only 1.55 percent in 1966-71 before rising to 2.40 percent in 1971-76 and 3.56 percent in 1976-81. The pattern of growth in intangible investment, however, showed an increase, from 2.24 percent in 1946-56 to 6.01 percent in 1956-66, followed by declines to 4.92 percent in 1966-71, to 2.39 percent in 1971-76 and to 1.07 percent in 1976-81. The last decline stemmed from a falloff, to 0.49 percent, in the rate of growth of capital accumulation in education and training.

TISA suggests some substantial correction to the views of those who have asserted that Americans have been enjoying more and more consumption at the expense of investment. When nonmarket product going to consumption --chiefly from the household sector but also from government, nonprofit institutions, and business--is taken into account, a different picture emerges. In contrast to the rates of growth of 3.94 percent and 3.53 percent over the 1946-81 period noted above for constant-dollar tangible and intangible capital accumulation, respectively, and 3.36 percent for BEA personal consumption expenditures, TISA total consumption grew at an average annual rate of only 2.20 percent. In the first two decades, the growth rates of consumption were, consecutively, 1.38 percent and 2.64 percent, and then 2.24 percent in 1966-71 and 2.39 percent in 1971-76. In 1976-81, that growth rose to 2.74 percent, but this was still well below the corresponding 3.56 percent rate for tangible capital accumulation at original cost.

Rates of growth of the business sector were considerably larger over the entire 1946-81 period than those of government and households. In constant dollars, the growth rates were 5.07 percent for business, 0.96 percent for government, and 2.69 percent for households. The low government-sector figure reflected, in part, the relatively large government product in 1946, before World War II demobilization had been completed. In 1981, TISA gross business product in current dollars was still less than one-half --46.8 percent--of TISA GNP (table E). The share of the nonprofit sector was 2.5 percent, that of government and government enterprises combined was 12.1 percent, and that of households was 37.5 percent.

TISA real growth rates should be interpreted with caution, however. As with the BEA figures, their accuracy depends critically on the accuracy of underlying price deflators. Many price deflators are essentially input-based, and may well omit or understate significant effects of change in productivity. It may be observed, in particular, that while TISA, implicit price deflators for consumption and intangible capital accumulation moved in quite parallel fashion, that for tangible capital formation rose more slowly (table F). Over the entire period 1946-81, deflators for consumption and intangible capital accumulation rose at average annual rates of 4.87 percent and 5.20 percent, respectively, but that for tangible capital formation rose at a rate of only 4.05 percent. If the increase in the relative price of intangible capital is overstated, the rates of growth in real intangible and total capital formation relative to BEA investment figures are also correspondingly understated.

Whatever the caveats in this very summary presentation, a number of salient findings demand attention Nonmarket output provides an enormous --even if declining--proportion of total U.S. product. Correspondingly, business product, while growing at a more rapid rate than nonbusiness product, is still less than one-half of the total. Similarly, the great bulk of capital accumulation takes place outside of the business sector, and more of it takes the form of intangible than tangible capital. Analysts and policy-makers cannot properly ignore the major contributions of the household and government sectors to capital accumulation and to total product. Consideration of the Nation's fundamental set of choices between current consumption and investment for the future may well take into account the evidence that total consumption has in fact been growing less rapidly than total capital accumulation.

Finally, and not the least, this presentation should be an important reminder that it can be done! A comprehensive, consistent set of accounts, patterned after the traditional national income and product accounts, can be put together to offer a moving picture of total product and income, market and nonmarket, of all sectors of the economy. It may be hoped that these accounts will enhance our ability to measure the state of the Nation's welfare and its progress and to estimate basic macroeconomic relations of the economy. It may also be hoped that resources will be found to extend and improve upon these accounts in the future.

Table: CHART 5 Gross National Product by Type of Product, 1981 Gross National Product by Type of Product, 1981

Table: A.--Reconciliation of BEA and TISA Measures of Consumption, 1981

Table: B.--Reconciliation of BEA and TISA Measures of Investment, 1981

Table: chart 6 Gross National Product by Sector, 1981

Table: C.--National Income and Product Account: Summary Statistics, 1946-81

Table: D.--National Income and Product Account: TISA as Percent of BEA

Table: E.--Sector Products

Table: F.--Implicit Price Deflators and Inflation Rates, GNP and Components, 1946-81

Table: 1.--National Income and Product Account

Table: 2.--Business Income and Product

Table: 3.--Nonprofit Income and Product

Table: 4.--Government Enterprise Income and Product

Table: 5.--Government Income and Product

Table: 6.--Household Income and Product

Table: 7.--Constant-Dollar National Income and Product Account

Table: 8.--Constant-Dollar Business Income and Product

Table: 9.--Constant-Dollar Nonprofit Income and Product

Table: 10.--Constant-Dollar Government Enterprise Income and Product

Table: 11.--Constant-Dollar Government Income and Product

Table: 12.--Constant-Dollar Household Income and Product

Table: 13.--Total Capital, Year-End Totals

Table: 14.--Constant-Dollar Total Capital, Year-End Totals

Table: 15.--Year-End Implicit Price Deflators for Capital
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Author:Eisner, Robert
Publication:Survey of Current Business
Date:Jan 1, 1985
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