The Structure of the U.S. Economic Statistical System: Implications for Public Policy

Andrew Reamer
Andrew Reamer Former Brookings Expert

August 19, 2009

At the biennial International Statistical Institute conference in Durban, South Africa, Andrew Reamer said that the federal economic statistical system has been too narrowly focused on meeting the data needs of macroeconomic policymakers, to the detriment of other data users, particularly those at the regional level. He argued that the government needs a coherent policy for promoting the nation’s economic competitiveness; such a policy should be built around encouraging the competitiveness of regions; and, as a key aspect of that policy, the statistical system should produce the data needed for improved public and private decision-making at the regional level.