Historical Measures of Economic Output
Alexander J. Field
Following an introduction this chapter provides an overview of the logic and conceptual underpinnings of national income and product measures (Part I). Part II describes developments beginning in the 1930s that led to the modern approaches and conventions regarding how we should measure these aggregates. Part III reviews contributions made by quantitative economists, new economic historians, and cliometricians to our understanding of economic epochs prior to the second half of the twentieth century. The principal focus is on the United States, although there is some reference to developments in other countries.