Do-It-Yourself Home Improvement and Other Home-Produced Goods: Changes for Measured GDP and Housing Values

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Do-It-Yourself Home Improvement and Other Home-Produced Goods: Changes for Measured GDP and Housing Values

Research Seminar

Friday 30 June 2017, 13:00 — 14:00

Research Seminar

Rachel Soloveichik, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

National Institute of Economic and Social Research, 2 Dean Trench Street, Smith Square, London SW1P 3HE

Most household production is excluded from GDP. However, the System of National Accounts 2008 (SNA 2008) recommends that countries treat owner occupied housing as if the homes were owned by outside parties who then rented them out to the homeowners. As part of that recommendation, SNA 2008 recommends that unpaid home improvement labor should be treated as investment when measuring home improvement (Section 6.37). In another exception, SNA 2008 recommends that home-produced goods should be included in GDP (Section 6.32). I estimate the value of unpaid home improvement labor and three major categories of home-produced goods: a) food for humans produced and consumed within the household by non-farm families; b) food for pet horses produced and consumed on the farm; c) clothing produced and consumed within the household by both farm and non-farm families. I then recalculate the national income and product accounts when all of these household production activities are included in GDP.

Rachel Soloveichik is an economist at the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. She obtained her PhD from the University of Chicago. Her research has focused on including new services and capital assets in the published GDP statistics.

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