Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: economics ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: economics
Category: Reference, Education and News > Education
Asked by: boobee-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 06 Feb 2003 07:43 PST
Expires: 08 Mar 2003 07:43 PST
Question ID: 158033
I am interested in researcher's answer + any web sites that can help
me with answering the following question:  Why has it become
increasingly difficult for the federal government to monitor economic
activity in the United States?
Subject: Re: economics
Answered By: ragingacademic-ga on 07 Feb 2003 09:32 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear boobee,

Thanks for your question.  First, let me request that if any of the
following is unclear or if you require any further research – please
don’t hesitate to ask me for a clarification.

You requested a researcher's answer + any web sites that can help
with answering the following question:  Why has it become
increasingly difficult for the federal government to monitor economic
activity in the United States?

There are several reasons why it has become increasingly difficult to
monitor economic activity in the US:

1)	Difficulty of keeping track of new small businesses - Tremendous
growth in the micro economy – number of individuals self-employed etc.

2)	Tax avoidance and evasion – as tax code continues to become more
complex, individuals and corporations are finding more ways to avoid
paying taxes, or to evade taxation all together by locating offshore.

3)	Difficulty of measuring the “black” or shadow economy – illegal
activities such as the drug trade, prostitution etc.  In the US,
estimates vary – shadow economy estimated at between 4% to 33% of GDP
(but note that US does adjust estimates to account for shadow
economy).   This is also known as the “underground economy”

For (1) through (3), please see -

4)	Value of leisure not included in GDP, but leisure activities have
been on the increase

5)	“Similarly to leisure, many other aspects of life that can yield
utility, sometimes summarized as the “Quality of Living”, are omitted
in GDP. This entails the quality of the environment, social security,
education and so on. All these “soft” factors do not appear in GDP and
therefore hamper the usefulness of GDP as a welfare measure.”

For (4) through (5), please see -

6)	Value of work done at home – “housewifing” or “home production”
(although this has generally been on the decrease)

Please see -

As well as -

7) Growth of the services economy – e.g. if I employ a housecleaner
and pay her cash, there is no way to measure this; multiply by ten
million households, and you have a real problem on your hands!  This
has been exacerbated by illegal migration from Mexico, now estimated
in the millions.

Please see -

8)	Tremendous growth in bartering, e.g. –

“A growth in bartering is anticipated. This will be encouraged by easy
access to partners over the

Please see -

“Bartering, the oldest form of commerce, has 
maintained a significant presence in society throughout 
history. The power of the web and computer-based models 
have spurred new growth in bartering.”

Please see -

This was a very interesting question to answer, truly enjoyed it!  I
hope this response adequately addresses your request.  Please let me
know if you are in need of additional information concerning this


Search Strategy:

"growth in bartering"
"measuring economic activity"
"measuring economic activity" difficulties "challenges in measuring
economic activity"
boobee-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy