Past event

Research Event

GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History

Chatham House, London

International Economics Department

Participants

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

Overview

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.