Economic Statistics: How to Become Lean and Mean?

Open access


The compilation of official statistics has changed dramatically over the past decades, and it will continue to change. These changes not only relate to user demands; also the source data and the means, in the sense of the technologies available for compiling statistics, have undergone and will continue to undergo significant changes. This article addresses the main developments and challenges in relation to the sources for compiling official statistics (input), the technologies for processing data (throughput), and the user demands (output) for official statistics. It is concluded that all these changes have, and continue to have, a significant impact on the way statistics are compiled, and the article puts forward a number of suggestions for the future direction of compiling official statistics.

6. References

  • Ahmad, N., and J. Ribarsky. 2014. “Trade in Value Added, Jobs and Investment.” In Proceedings of the 33rd Global Conference of the International Association for the Research in Income and Wealth (IARIW), Rotterdam, August 24–30, 2014. Available at: (accessed June 2017).

  • Bese Goksu, B., and P.J.M. van de Ven. 2015. “G-20 Data Gaps Initiative (DGI): A Second Phase.” The Statistics Newsletter of theOECD,No. 63, September 2015. Available at: (accessed June 2017).

  • Corrado, C., C. Hulten, and D. Sichel. 2005. “Measuring Capital and Technology: An Expanded Framework.” In Measuring Capital in the New Economy, C. Corrado, J. Haltiwanger, and D. Sichel, 11–46. University of Chicago Press, ISBN: 0-226-11612-3.

  • Corrado, C., C. Hulten, and D. Sichel. 2009. “Intangible Capital and U.S. Economic Growth.” The Review of Income andWealth, Volume 55: 661–685. Doi:

  • European Commission 2013. European System of Accounts – ESA 2010. Luxembourg: Publication Office of the European Union.

  • IMF and FSB 2009. The Financial Crisis and Information Gaps. Report to the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. Available at: (accessed June 2017).

  • Lipsey, R. 2010. “Measuring the Location of Production in a World of Intangible Productive Assets, FDI and Intrafirm Trade.” The Review of Income and Wealth, Volume 56: S99–S110. Doi:

  • OECD 2016. “Are the Irish 26.3% better off?” OECD Insights, 5 October 2016. Available at:

  • Piketty, T. 2014. Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge, Massachusetts, London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

  • United Nations, European Commission, International Monetary Fund, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, and World Bank 1993. System of National Accounts 1993. Brussels/Luxembourg, New York, Paris, Washington D.C.

  • United Nations, European Commission, International Monetary Fund, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, and World Bank 2009. System of National Accounts 2008. New York.

  • United Nations, European Commission, Food and Agricultural Organisation, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, International Monetary Fund, The World Bank Group 2014. System of Environmental-Economic Accounting 2012 – Central Framework. New York.

  • Stiglitz, J.E., Sen, A., and Fitoussi, J.-P. 2009. Report by the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress. Paris. Available at:þCommissionþreport (accessed June 2017).

  • UNECE 2015. Guide to Measuring Global Production. New York, Geneva.

  • UNECE 2017. “Value of Official Statistics: Recommendations on Promoting, Measuring and Communicating the Value of Official Statistics.” In Proceedings of the sixty-fifth Plenary Session of the Conference of European Statisticians, June 19–21, 2017. Available at: (accessed June 2017).

  • UNECE, Eurostat, and OECD 2011. The Impact of Globalization on National Accounts. New York, Geneva.

  • Zwijnenburg, J. 2016. Expert Group on Disparities in a National Accounts Framework. Results from a Recent Exercise. Paris: OECD. (Working Paper No. 75, STD/DOC(2016)9).

Journal of Official Statistics

The Journal of Statistics Sweden

Journal Information

IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.411
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.776

CiteScore 2016: 0.63

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.710
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.975


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 66 66 66
PDF Downloads 29 29 29