The Measure of a Nation: Quantifying Innovative Strength through Improved Service Sector Metrics
NBR Special Report no. 11

The Measure of a Nation
Quantifying Innovative Strength through Improved Service Sector Metrics

by John M. Graham
February 1, 2007

The service sector makes up approximately 80% of U.S. GDP, yet there is a lack of adequate data and analytical tools to understand this rapidly changing area of the economy. Without sufficient data, how does one counter the reporter who points out specific plant closings and lay-offs allegedly due to trade with countries like China and India? The intangible nature of many types of services and shortcomings in the current statistical system makes this task much more difficult for services than it is for goods. In consultation with top experts, John M. Graham highlights the importance of this issue and provides a sophisticated roadmap for solutions.

Report prepared by: John M. Graham, The National Bureau of Asian Research

in consultation with the NBR Commission on Measuring Services in the U.S. Economy:

Steven Davis, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business

Douglas Lippoldt, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

Catherine L. Mann, Institute for International Economics

Jack Triplett, The Brookings Institution