Tuesday, 4 February 2014

How grains and oilseeds flow through the U.S. food economy

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) recently (in December 2013) announced the once-every-five-years release of benchmark national input-output accounts, showing how resources flow from one industry to the next in the U.S. economy.

For people interested in the economics of the food system, some graduate students and colleagues and I last year developed a tool in Tufts' Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) for interactively illustrating such input-output flows. A working paper (#44) describes the tool. A previous blog post shows an example. The visualization tag at this blog collects other posts about interesting food policy data illustrations.

In this video, I use the new BEA benchmark input-output data to describe how grain and oilseeds flow through the food economy. Before making the video, I rounded the numbers to the nearest billion dollars and deleted some negligible small resource flows, so serious students of these data will want to refer to the original files from BEA. Because the numbers likely will be illegible in the video player embedded in the blog post, I've included a link to the original video, which you can download and play with higher resolution on your computer's own video program (such as Windows Media Player or the Mac equivalent).

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