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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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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 (Report)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © The Author
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
JEL classification: 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
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2012 10:20
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2021 23:18

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