Until World War II and the postwar years, when the federal bureaucracy institutionalized the government’s preferred method for calculating national income, economists offered sound arguments for excluding government spending from estimates of gross domestic product. Using their general approach reveals that the private economy’s performance for the past thirteen years has been only somewhat better than complete stagnation.

Robert Higgs is Retired Senior Fellow in Political Economy, Founding Editor and former Editor at Large of The Independent Review.
Global FinanceInternational Economics and Development
Other Independent Review articles by Robert Higgs
Fall 2019 Pressure-Release Valves in Participatory Fascism
Winter 2018/19 Two Worlds: Politics and Everything Else
Fall 2018 Against the Whole Concept and Construction of the Balance of International Payments
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