BEA is developing tools to better capture the effects of fast-changing technologies on the U.S. economy and on global supply chains. The project seeks to calculate the digital economy's contribution to U.S. GDP, improve measures of high-tech goods and services, and offer a more complete picture of international trade. Other goals are to advance research for digital goods and services, the sharing economy and free digital content, and to explore economic measures beyond GDP to better understand Americans' well-being.
- Working Paper: Measuring and Defining the Digital Economy (PDF)
- Data for 2005–2016 (XLSX)
- Videos: Measuring the Digital Economy from the Fifth IMF Statistical Forum, November 2017
- Podcast: GDP and the Value of "Free" featuring BEA's Rachel Soloveichik, with The Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence, July 2017
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- How do the initial digital economy measures compare with industry economic impact reports and BEA satellite accounts?
- Can the initial digital economy estimates show how much the digital economy contributed to the overall economy as a percent of GDP?
- What is gross output by industry and how does it differ from gross domestic product (or value added) by industry?
- What is a satellite account?
- How is the digital economy captured in the core statistics currently produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)?
- How does BEA define the digital economy?
- What is missing from the digital economy estimates?
- How are free social media, email, and other ad-supported Internet services included in the BEA digital economy estimates?
Email DigitalEconomy@bea.gov with comments or questions, or call Jessica Nicholson at (301) 278-9171.
BEA would like input from users to refine these estimates and further the effort to develop a comprehensive digital economy satellite account. BEA is requesting feedback on the following questions:
- Does the definition proposed by BEA accurately define the digital economy?
- What goods and services not captured in the current definition of the digital economy should BEA consider in scope for the digital economy satellite account? Are there goods and services currently included in the definition that should not be included?
- What datasets could BEA use to estimate in-scope shares of partially digital goods and services?
- Who would use these new statistics and what would they use them for (please provide specific examples)?
- Beyond statistics on value added, output, employment, and compensation, what other types of digital economy statistics would be useful?
- Why are these new statistics needed? What benefits would flow to users from BEA-produced statistics in this area that they couldn't get elsewhere?
Please email all comments to DigitalEconomy@bea.gov.