The GNP is intended to represent the value of all goods and services produced by members of the nation in question, regardless of where those members may live/work/base their production capital. (The GDP, on the other hand, represents the value of the goods and services produced within the territorial boundaries of the nation in question, regardless of the nationality of the laborers, owners, etc.)

It should be noted that GNP and GDP traditionally do not count black market goods. Columbia has caused a bit of a stir when it started to include its illicit drug trade in its figures. As the world's leading supplier of coca, and major opium and heroin supplier to the United States, it does factor into their economic wealth. However, black market goods are not subject to taxes and other tariffs, and therefore do not affect the economy the same way as legal goods.

To futher explore this topic, what happens in a country that has a significant service economy? Part of the economic effect of the sex industry in Southeast Asia is reflected in their tourism figures, but the actual services are not.

In countries where only pollution-causing and natural resource-depleting industries can count towards wealth, it seems like another disadvantage. The economic statuses of Third World Countries are at the mercy of First World Nations' moral compasses.

Of course, it can always be argued that black market goods and services actually lower the standard of living in a country. In Columbia, only a few hold the wealth, and they terrorise and kill others who oppose them. Prostitution, although subject to debate, is usually considered detrimental to a community. Still, the question remains; is the standard of living adversely affected because of their inherent immoral nature, or because they are illegal?

Gross Domestic Product as a concept fails to take into account income from domestically owned foreign assets, so it is necessary to have the idea of Gross National Product in order to measure the total income earned by domestic citizens regardless of the location of those earnings. The GNP of a country therefore is a measure of its economic performance.

The income from rent, profits, dividends, interest and so on of foreign assets is known in national income accounting as 'property income': the net flow of which is the excess of the 'in' flow from nationally owned factor services abroad over the 'out' flow - the 'in' flows of all other countries. When there is (as it is theoretically possible that there could be none, although highly unlikely in the globalized world) a net property income between countries, the GDP and GNP will not be equal, for example if the US had an inflow of $3.5bn property income from abroad, but an outflow of $2.75bn, the GNP will exceed the GDP by $0.75bn.

GNP can be divided into two categories: nominal and real GNP. Nominal GNP measures GNP at the prices prevailing when the income was earned. This can be misleading as it does not take into account inflation. This is where real GNP (also known as GNP at constant prices) comes into play, as it measures GNP in different years at the prices prevailing at a set year called the 'base year'. This means that prices from one year are used to compare GNP from many, eliminating discrepancies caused by the change in the value of money. The real GNP is calculated using the 'GNP deflator': a ratio of nominal to real GNP expressed as an index (multiplied by 100).

The annual percentage rise in real GNP shows how fast an economy is growing. To understand how this is affecting the citizens of a country, their standard of living, GNP per capita (per person) can be used. This is calculated simply by dividing the real GNP by the population. Although this gives a general idea of an increase or decrease in standard of living, caution must be assumed when using it, as a percentage increase in GNP per capita does NOT mean that everyone's standard of living has increased - as a mean measure it does not account for the fact that one person may have had a major increase in income and another a severe decrease.

Real GNP is a crude measure of national economic health. It ignores non-market activities such as pollution and housework, and leisure. It is also important to consider the effects of depreciation. However, depsite its problems, GNP is in practice the most widely used method of measuring national economic performance.

GNP is also sometimes known as Gross National Income (GNI)

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