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Hooray for GDP!

Oulton, Nicholas (2012) Hooray for GDP! Centre for Economic Performance occasional papers, CEPOP30. Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

Should raising the growth rate of GDP per capita be a policy goal of governments in general, and of the British government in particular? Many people would say no, for the following reasons: 1) GDP is hopelessly flawed as a measure of welfare; 2) Growing GDP is pointless since most people don’t benefit; 3) Raising GDP per capita is pointless as it doesn't make people any happier; and 4) The planet is finite, so further growth of GDP (at least in rich countries) is not feasible anyway. I discuss and reject all four of these objections. I urge the LSE Growth Commission to focus its efforts on policies to increase the growth rate of GDP per capita in the medium and long run.

Item Type: Monograph (Other)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/
Additional Information: © The Author
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: D - Microeconomics > D6 - Welfare Economics > D63 - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E6 - Macroeconomic Policy Formation, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, Macroeconomic Policy, and General Outlook > E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O4 - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity > O47 - Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output (Income) Convergence
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: CEPOP30
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2012 10:20
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/47498/

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