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National Accounting and Economic Policy

The United States and UN Systems Nancy D. Ruggles, formerly Senior Research Economist, Institute for Economic and Social Policy Studies, Yale University, US and the late Richard Ruggles, formerly Stanley Resor Professor of Economics, Yale University, US
This volume reflects the pioneering contribution of Nancy and Richard Ruggles to the development of national accounts. It provides a comprehensive overview of the evolution of national accounting systems over the last 50 years.
Extent: 576 pp
Hardback Price: $234.00 Web: $210.60
Publication Date: 1999
ISBN: 978 1 85898 992 1
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Economic History
  • International Accounting
  • Methodology of Economics
This volume reflects the pioneering contribution of Nancy and Richard Ruggles to the development of national accounts. It provides a comprehensive overview of the evolution of national accounting systems over the last 50 years.

The book is divided into three parts: the evolution of national accounting, the United States national accounts and the United Nations system of national accounts. The authors look at the treatment of pensions, insurance, and value added in national accounting, and the relationship between national income accounting and economic policy. They then look at the conceptual basis and evolution of national accounting systems in the United States between 1947 and 1977 and the integrated economic accounts between 1947 and 1980. Finally, the book includes a review of the major issues in the United Nations system of national accounts, both in terms of measurement and in their applicability to economies in transition and developing countries.
‘Richard Ruggles, often assisted by Nancy Ruggles, has been a major contributor to national income accounting and to the empirical study of microeconomics and macroeconomics using that and other data. He has focused on the quantitative analysis of actual economic systems in a discipline increasingly preoccupied with abstract pure conceptual models. Like the work of Simon Kuznets and others, Ruggles’s analyses encompass an unusually wide range of variables.’
– Warren J. Samuels, Michigan State University, US

‘They are clearly a classic team that has contributed enormously to national income account analysis over the years. The recent concern about measuring prices and productivity and about the correct indexing for Social Security has brought renewed attention to their work. Every serious economics library should have the volumes.’
– Martin Feldstein, National Bureau of Economic Research, US

‘The papers speak for themselves and demonstrate the magnitude of the contribution which Nancy and Richard Ruggles have made to the subject of economic accounting in the last half century. In contrast to many introverted and overly technical manuals and articles on national accounts, their papers are invariably clear, stimulating and readable.’
– From the foreword by Peter Hill
Contents: Part I: Evolution and Concepts of National Accounting 1. National Income Accounting and its Relation to Economic Policy 2. Concepts of Real Capital Stock and Services 3. The Evolution and Present State of National Economic Accounting 4. The Role of the National Accounts in the Statistical System 5. The Treatment of Pensions and Insurance in National Accounts 6. National Income Accounting Concepts and Measurement: Economic Theory and Practice 7. The Value Added of National Accounting Part II: United States National Accounts 8. The Evolution of National Accounts and the National Data Base 9. The United States National Income Accounts, 1947–77: Their Conceptual Basis and Evolution 10. Integrated Economic Accounts for the United States, 1947–80 11. Integrated Economic Accounts: Reply Part III: United Nations System of Accounts 12. The System of National Accounts: Review of Major Issues 13. Financial Accounts and Balance Sheets: Issues for the Revision of the SNA 14. A Note on the Revision of the United Nations System of National Accounts 15. Statistical Measurements for Economic Systems in Transition: Strategy for Implementing the UN System of National Accounts (SNA) 16. Issues Relating to the UN System of National Accounts and Developing Countries 17.The United Nations System of National Accounts (SNA) and the Integration of Macro- and Microdata Bibliography Index