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Measuring the Wealth of Nations
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Book description

This book provides an alternative foundation for the measurement of the production of nations, and applies it to the US economy for the postwar period. The patterns which result are significantly different from those derived within conventional systems of national accounts. Conventional national accounts seriously distort basic economic aggregates, because they classify military, bureaucratic and financial activities as creation of new wealth, when in fact they should be classified as forms of social consumption which, like personal consumption, actually use up social wealth in the performance of their functions. The difference between the two approaches has an impact not only on basic aggregate economic measures, but also on the very understanding of the observed patterns of growth and stagnation. In a world of burgeoning militaries, bureaucracies, and sales forces, such matters can assume great importance at the levels of both theory and policy.

Reviews

"...it will be widely welcomed, and, more importantly, widely read." Review of Radical Political Economics

"Shaikh and Tonak's book is certain to become the standard reference....obviously a 'must read' for all those interested in heterodox empirical work...." Journal of Economic Literature

"...[an] impresssive work...The pattern of production that emerges from this analysis is quite different from that of the conventional accounts." E. Kacapyr, Choice

"Their main contribution is to develop an extremely detailed, consistent, and comprehensive alternative to the conventional input-output tables and income and product accounts, based on the classical distinction between production and nonproduction activities....no one has succeeded to the same degree. Shaikh and Tonak's book is certain to become the standard reference for further empirical work in this tradition....This book is obviously a 'must read' for all those interested in heterodox empirical work...." Fred Moseley, Journal of Economic Literature

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