Past eventResearch Event

GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History

27 November 2014 - 1:00pm to 2:15pm

Chatham House, London


Diane Coyle, Vice-Chair, BBC Trust; Professor of Economics, University of Manchester; Visiting Research Associate, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford; Author, GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History 
Chair: Paul van den Noord, Economist, Autonomy Capital; Associate Fellow, International Economics, Chatham House



How did one single statistic become so important to politics, business, and how we define the economy? Diane Coyle, author of the book GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History, traces the history of GDP, the standard measure used to define and compare national economies around the world. She argues that GDP was a good measure for the 20th century but is increasingly inappropriate for a 21st century economy driven by innovation, services, and intangible goods. She outlines the different arguments made for revising GDP and proposes collecting user-generated statistics that better take into account the complexity of today’s economies and introduce measures of sustainability for future growth.

Coffee will be served to participants prior to the meeting.