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  • Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts x
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International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper examines the effect transactions with the IMF have on the monetary situation within a country when the foreign exchange purchased from the IMF is used to meet a balance of payments deficit. In some countries, the national currency counterpart is kept on deposit to the credit of the IMF at the central bank. In other countries, the government substitutes a noninterest-bearing note for the national currency counterpart of a transaction with the IMF. It is with the effects of the latter practice that this paper is primarily concerned. The effect of a balance of payments deficit on the money supply will be offset if credit is expanded to finance a government deficit, investment by business, or spending by consumers. The ultimate effect on the money supply will depend upon how the government deals with the national currency turned over to it by the Exchange Equalization Account. Considerable caution is required in concluding that a balance of payments deficit is likely to be moderate and temporary.
Mr. Adriaan M. Bloem
Countries compiling quarterly estimates for gross domestic product (GDP) often use alternative approaches simultaneously. This may result in the publication of different measures of quarterly GDP and discrepancies between these measures. Such discrepancies are unavoidable, unless reconciliation takes place or the measures are mutually interdependent. This paper examines international practices in this respect, focusing on OECD member countries that publish quarterly GDP data. Of these, five publish GDP data with discrepancies—the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand—and the paper examines causes and the development of these discrepancies.
Ms. Anastasia Guscina
The past two decades have seen a decline in labor's share of national income in several industrial countries. This paper analyzes the role of three factors in explaining movements in labor's share--factor-biased technological progress, openness to trade, and changes in employment protection--using a panel of 18 industrial countries over 1960-2000. Since most studies suggest that globalization and rapid technological progress (associated with accelerated information technology development) began in the mid-1980s, the sample is split in 1985 into preglobalization/pre-IT revolution and postglobalization/post-IT revolution eras. The results suggest that the decline in labor's share during the past few decades in the OECD member countries may have been largely an equilibrium, rather than a cyclical, phenomenon, as the distribution of national income between labor and capital adjusted to capital-augmenting technological progress and a more globalized world economy.
Mr. Andrew Baer, Mr. Kwangwon Lee, and James Tebrake
Digitalization and the innovative use of digital technologies is changing the way we work, learn, communicate, buy and sell products. One emerging digital technology of growing importance is cloud computing. More and more businesses, governments and households are purchasing hardware and software services from a small number of large cloud computing providers. This change is having an impact on how macroeconomic data are compiled and how they are interpreted by users. Specifically, this is changing the information and communication technology (ICT) investment pattern from one where ICT investment was diversified across many industries to a more concentrated investment pattern. Additionally, this is having an impact on cross-border flows of commercial services since the cloud service provider does not need to be located in the same economic territory as the purchaser of cloud services. This paper will outline some of the methodological and compilation challenges facing statisticians and analysts, provide some tools that can be used to overcome these challenges and highlight some of the implications these changes are having on the way users of national accounts data look at investment and trade in commercial services.
Mr. Thomas F Alexander, Ms. Claudia H Dziobek, Mr. Marco Marini, Eric Metreau, and Mr. Michael Stanger
To derive real GDP, the System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA) recommends a technique called double deflation. Some countries use single deflation techniques, which fail to capture important relative price changes and introduce estimation errors in official GDP growth. We simulate the effects of single deflation to the GDP data of eight countries that use double deflation. We find that errors due to single deflation can be significant, but their magnitude and direction are not systematic over time and across countries. We conclude that countries still using single deflation should move to double deflation.
Rattan J. Bhatia and Arie C. Bouter

INFLATIONARY TENDENCIES, resulting in rising wages and prices, have prevailed in most countries since the end of World War II. In certain countries, at certain times, they have been due primarily to a tendency for general demand to exceed potential supply. Many governments have tried to counteract these inflationary pressures by relying on fiscal and monetary policies. In other countries, and at other times, however, inflationary tendencies have been due primarily to the attempt of labor as a whole to secure higher real rewards than correspond to its productivity, or to an attempt to maintain wage differentials that are incompatible with the current distribution of demand between different types of labor. The success of such attempts, which presupposes imperfect competition in the labor market, makes it possible for wages to rise faster than productivity even though the real demand for labor may not be, on balance, excessive in the economy. Prices, as a consequence, also tend to rise. A wage-price spiral comes into existence; wages and prices push each other up.