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Worldwide historical National Accounts now in one public database: new research possibilities

31 March 2009

Researchers of the Groningen Growth and Development Centre at the Faculty of Economics and Business have set up a database which brings together all available, but often fragmented, data on all major European and Asian economies. Their national accounts of the whole 19th and 20th centuries have now been standardized, so that they are ready for comparative economic research. The 'Historical National Accounts datahub' is available via the GGDC website www.ggdc.net.

During the last years more and more detailed historical national accounts have become available. It is for this reason that the GGDC in collaboration with the Department of Economic History of the London School of Economics has initiated a new research project dealing with the construction of comparative historical national accounts. The set up of this database was supported by a grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The GGDC has also benefited from the ESF Globaleuronet Research Networking Programme led by Stefano Battilossi (Carlos III, Madrid).

The main goal of the project was to bring together the available, but often fragmented, data on GDP (Gross Domestic Product) at the industry level for all major economies. The researchers standardised these estimates across countries to make possible a consistent long run international comparison of output (and in specific cases productivity). Currently the database contains data for major European and Asian economies and covers the 19th and 20th century. In addition, several Eastern European economies were included, covering the period 1950-1990. The GDP data and their components are presented in local currencies, both in current and constant prices.

More information

The datahub on Historical National Accounts is coordinated by Jan-Pieter Smits. On the GGDC website are also examples available of research conducted with this new dataset.

Pieter Smits
Herman de Jong

Last modified:31 January 2018 11.53 a.m.

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