From the Wall Street Journal:
U.S. workers produced $20.5 trillion in goods and services last year, but that measure of output said nothing about how the economy's spoils were divvied up, who benefited most from what the economy delivered and who got the least.
Researchers at the agency that compiles output and growth statistics, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis, are now working to change that. Economists at the agency are developing distributional measures that describe not just how much the nation produced, and how much that production grew, but also how much of the income from all of that production went to the poor, the middle class and the rich.
In the aftermath of the financial crisis, economists at the BEA realized they didn't know how the recession and the subsequent recovery affected rich and poor households differently. In a November paper, BEA economists Dennis Fixler, Marina Gindelsky and University of Michigan economist David Johnson, a former top economist at the agency, tried to get to the bottom of that.