# GNP and its Measurement Methods

## What is GNP?

Gross National Product (GNP) is an economic indicator that measures the total value of goods and services produced by a country’s residents, regardless of their location, during a specific period of time, typically a year or a quarter. GNP considers the production of a country’s residents both within and outside of its borders.

Paul Anthony Samuelson, an American economist, defined GNP as “the sum total of all final goods and services produced by a country’s residents, regardless of their location, in a given period of time, usually a year.

Simon Kuznets, a Russian-American economist and Nobel laureate, defined GNP as “the total market value of all final goods and services produced by a country’s residents, whether located within or outside the country’s borders, in a given period of time.”

J.B. Clark, an American economist, defined GNP as “the total income earned by a country’s residents from their participation in production activities, whether the income is earned within or outside the country’s borders, during a given period of time.

To calculate GNP, we use a similar approach like GDP, but with an additional step to adjust for the income a country’s residents abroad earn. Here is the formula for GNP:

GNP = GDP + Net Factor Income from Abroad

Net Factor Income from Abroad is the difference between income earned by a country’s residents abroad (such as wages, salaries, and profits) and income earned by foreign residents within the country’s borders.

If a country’s residents earn more income abroad than foreign residents earn within its borders, then GNP will be higher than GDP. If the opposite is true, then GNP will be lower than GDP.

## Key Features of GNP with Comparison to GDP

Here are some key features of GNP and how it differs from Gross Domestic Product (GDP):

1. Location of Production: GDP measures the value of goods and services produced within a country’s borders, while GNP measures the value of goods and services produced by a country’s residents, regardless of where they are produced. This means that GNP takes into account the income earned by a country’s residents from investments and employment abroad, which is not included in GDP.
2. Ownership of Production: GDP measures the production of all goods and services within a country’s borders, regardless of who owns the factors of production (such as labor, capital, and land). In contrast, GNP measures the production of goods and services owned by a country’s residents, regardless of where they are produced.
3. Nationality of Producers: GDP includes the production of all firms operating within a country’s borders, regardless of their ownership or nationality. In contrast, GNP includes only the production of firms owned by a country’s residents, regardless of where they operate.
4. International Comparisons: GNP is often used to compare the economic performance of different countries. International organizations, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, use GNP data to assess economic development and allocate resources to countries in need.
5. Limitations: Like GDP, GNP has limitations as an economic indicator. It does not take into account non-monetary factors such as quality of life, environmental sustainability, and income inequality, which are important for assessing overall economic and social well-being.

Read more on the Differences between GDP and GNP.

## Methods or Approaches of calculating GNP

There are two main methods or approaches used to calculate Gross National Product (GNP); the expenditure approach and the income approach. Both methods are based on the idea that the total output of an economy can be measured by the total value of goods and services produced within a given period. However, they differ in how they measure this value.

1. ### Expenditure approach:

This approach measures GNP by adding up the total expenditures on goods and services produced by a country’s residents, both within and outside of its borders, during a specific period of time. The expenditure approach consists of four main components:

• Personal consumption expenditures: This includes all the goods and services purchased by households, such as food, housing, and healthcare.
• Gross private domestic investment: This includes all investments made by private businesses in fixed assets like buildings and equipment and changes in inventory levels.
• Government consumption expenditures and gross investment: This includes all spending by the government on goods and services, such as military spending and infrastructure projects.
• Net exports of goods and services: This measures the difference between the value of exports and the value of imports.

The formula for GNP using the expenditure approach is:

GNP = C + I + G + (X – M)

Where,

C is personal consumption expenditures,

I is gross private domestic investment,

G is government consumption expenditures and gross investment,

X is the exports, and

M is the imports.

Suppose a country has the following data for a given year:

• Personal consumption expenditures (C) = \$800 billion
• Gross private domestic investment (I) = \$200 billion
• Government consumption expenditures and gross investment (G) = \$300 billion
• Exports (X) = \$100 billion
• Imports (M) = \$50 billion

Using the formula for GNP using the expenditure approach, we can calculate GNP as follows:

GNP = C + I + G + (X – M)

GNP = \$800 billion + \$200 billion + \$300 billion + (\$100 billion – \$50 billion)

GNP = \$1,350 billion

Therefore, the Gross National Product (GNP) for the given year is \$1,350 billion.

1. ### Income approach:

This approach measures GNP by adding up the total income earned by a country’s residents, both within and outside of its borders, during a specific period of time. The income approach consists of five main components:

• Compensation of employees: This includes all wages and salaries paid to workers.
• Rental income: This includes income earned by property owners from renting out their properties.
• Interest income: This includes income earned by lenders from the interest on loans and other financial assets.
• Corporate profits: This includes income earned by corporations from their operations and investments.
• Net income received from abroad: This includes income earned by a country’s residents from their investments and employment in other countries minus the income earned by foreign residents within the country.

The formula for GNP using the income approach is:

GNP = compensation of employees + rental income + interest income + corporate profits + net income received from abroad

Suppose a country has the following data for a given year:

• Compensation of employees = \$500 billion
• Rental income = \$50 billion
• Interest income = \$75 billion
• Corporate profits = \$200 billion

Using the formula for GNP using the income approach, we can calculate GNP as follows:

GNP = compensation of employees + rental income + interest income + corporate profits + net income received from abroad

GNP = \$500 billion + \$50 billion + \$75 billion + \$200 billion + \$100 billion

GNP = \$925 billion

Therefore, the Gross National Product (GNP) for the given year is \$925 billion.

We must note that the results obtained from these three approaches should be roughly equal in value, although, in practice, they may differ slightly due to measurement errors or other factors.

In conclusion, Gross National Product (GNP) can be calculated using either the expenditure or income approaches. Both methods aim to measure the total output of an economy by adding up the value of goods and services produced by a country’s residents, both within and outside of its borders. The two approaches differ in how they measure this value, either by adding up the total expenditures on goods and services or by adding up the total income earned by a country’s residents.

## Why is GNP important?

Gross National Product (GNP) is an important measure of a country’s economic performance. It represents the total market value of all goods and services produced by a country’s residents, including citizens and businesses, regardless of where they are located worldwide.

Some of the reasons why GNP is an important economic indicator are explained as follows:

1. A measure of economic output: GNP comprehensively measures a country’s economic output. By measuring the value of all goods and services produced by a country’s residents, GNP offers a broad picture of an economy’s overall size and health.
2. Indicator of economic growth: Changes in GNP over time can indicate whether an economy is growing or contracting. Increases in GNP signal that a country is producing more goods and services, which can lead to higher employment, higher incomes, and improved living standards.
3. International comparisons: GNP is a commonly used measure of economic performance to compare the economic output of different countries. Using a standard measure, policymakers and investors can compare the economic performance of different countries and make informed decisions about trade and investment.
4. Government policy: GNP is an important factor in government policymaking. Policymakers use GNP data to decide taxation, public spending, and economic development policies. GNP data can also help policymakers identify areas of the economy that are underperforming or need additional support.
5. Business investment: Businesses use GNP data to make investment decisions. Higher GNP figures can signal opportunities for businesses to invest in new markets, expand production, or develop new products and services.