Chap_5_-_GDP[1] - Gross Domestic Product (GDP) One of the...

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K. A. Kramer, © 2009 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) One of the things economists want to know is how well off the people in a country are. How well off people are is quite subjective, and can be measured many different ways. The most common way for macroeconomists to answer this question is to look at a nation’s standard of living . Here we will define the standard of living as the level of goods and services a person can enjoy. So a nation’s standard of living is the level of goods and services that a person living in that country can enjoy, on average. Gross Domestic Product : When consumers consume a good or service, they are consuming final goods and services. A final good or service is a good or service that is sold to the final, or end, user. So if I buy a new PC from Dell, I am buying a final good. However, when Dell bought the Intel hard drives they needed to manufacture their computers, those hard drives are considered intermediate goods or goods that are used as an input to produce a final good. What is a final good versus what is an intermediary good can depend on what it is used for. For example, if I buy some rose pedals for my wedding, they are considered final goods. I am the end user. However, if my bakery buys some rose pedals to put on my wedding cake, those rose pedals are considered intermediary goods, because the bakery is not the final user, I am. Gross domestic product or GDP , is the total value or all final goods and services produced in an economy during a given period, usually a year. There are a number of ways to calculate GDP. The first is the expenditure approach . In order to calculate GDP using the expenditure approach, we add up the value of all the final goods and services that we produced in a country in a given year. So lets say in my country all we produce is pizza and beer, and in the last year I have produced 10 pizzas which sold for $5.00 a pizza and 20 beers which sold for $2.50 a beer. So the total value of pizzas would be $5.00 x 10 = $50, and the total value of beer would be $2.50 x 20 = $50. Therefore GDP would be: GDP = total value of final goods and services = $5.00 × 10 + $2.50 × 20 = $100 Notice that the flour, and tomato sauce I use to make my pizzas and the barley and hops I use to make my beer are not included in the calculation. That’s because they are not final goods. We only include final goods in GDP to avoid double counting. If I included the flour in my calculations, for example, I would be counting it twice. Once as flour, and again since it is part of the pizza. Now even the economy of the smallest country has millions and millions of different
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2011 for the course ECON 100 taught by Professor Pgking during the Spring '08 term at S.F. State.

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Chap_5_-_GDP[1] - Gross Domestic Product (GDP) One of the...

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