The Role of the Service Sector in Brazil, Mexico and the USA
Appendix B: GDP Indices and Levels of GDP
Output is measured by gross domestic product (GDP), because it gives the best account of the contribution of a sector to the overall income. Moreover, GDP is available for many sectors and countries and it is widely used to assess productivity performance. Major efforts have been made by international organisations (Eurostat, IMF, OECD and United Nations) to harmonise concepts across countries, as part of the System of National Accounts. The latest revision of the System of National Accounts (InterSecretariat Working Group on National Accounts, 1993) was implemented in Brazil, Mexico and the USA in the mid- 1990s. In Brazil the national accounts were the responsibility of the Fundaqiio Getiilio Vargas until 1986, after which it was transferred to the Fundaqiio Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatistica (IBGE). The GDP levels are based on economic censuses covering most sectors. The estimates for years between censuses are less reliable. The final economic census was taken in 1985. In 1995 the five-year interval census has been replaced by annual surveys. Input output tables' served as indicators for ratios of value added to gross output. IBGE made little imputations for economic activity not covered in the census. It does, as such, understate the level of output. In contrast to Brazil, Mexico makes extensive allowances for informality (see also Appendix F and Maddison and Associates, 1992). The level estimates presented here corrected the underestimation of Brazilian GDP and the overestimation of Mexican GDP by using a standardised method to account for unregistered activity in both...
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