well as empirical studies and actual implementation of nonmarket accounting frameworks;
to make specific recommendations on the framework and sectors for developing nonmarket accounts and determine a set of priorities with respect to developing or phasing nonmarket accounts;
to examine and make recommendations with respect to key data that are needed to develop nonmarket accounts, considering such efforts as the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s (BLS) time-use survey; and
to investigate and make recommendations for research related to nonmarket accounts in the areas of statistics, economics, psychology, survey research, and other disciplines.
The panel worked over a period of 2 1/2 years to fulfill this charge. Our recommendations aim to provide practical guidance for constructing nonmarket accounts. Over the course of its deliberations, the panel found that the conceptually ideal approach often does not align with what can realistically be expected in practice. The panel has tried to be clear about when its recommendations reflect compromise required by practical constraints, such as data availability or measurement feasibility.
The rest of this chapter discusses the motivation for this study, priorities for nonmarket accounting, and issues relating to account scope and conceptual framework. Chapter 2 identifies and describes accounting and data issues—particularly issues related to the measurement of time use—that are key to both market and nonmarket accounts. Chapters 3 through 8 provide detailed analyses of the individual areas for which the panel has evaluated development of nonmarket satellite accounts.
The chapters on specific satellite accounts each begin with a discussion of the area, considering its importance and the role that nonmarket activity plays in it. As noted above, in many of the areas the panel has chosen to explore, market activity coexists with nonmarket activity. Students pay tuition to attend universities (a market transaction), but there is no market transaction that captures directly the value of the time they devote to this endeavor. Likewise, nonprofit organizations may hire employees (a market transaction), but also may use unpaid volunteers, the value of whose time and output produced is nowhere reflected.
Central to each of the chapters is a discussion of the conceptual issues related to the measurement of nonmarket activity in the area it covers. These issues lead to consideration of how inputs—both market and nonmarket—and resulting nonmarket outputs might be quantified. The transformation of inputs into outputs presupposes a production technology and, in a number of the chapters, this technology is also a subject of discussion.
Another matter that figures prominently throughout the report is how to attach values to specified quantities of nonmarket inputs and outputs. The panel’s approach, in essence, is to seek prices that can be assigned to the identified