GDP Turns 80, Time to Retire!

Author(s): 
Publication Date: 
29 November 2014
Publisher: 
OpenDemocracy Limited
Publication Place: 
London
Publication Language: 
EN
Appearing in: 
Open Democracy
Pages: 
Online page
Abstract: 

The gross domestic product (GDP) has just turned eighty. It was indeed in 1934 that a young economist by the name of Simon Kuznets (who would later on receive a Nobel Prize for this) presented his first report on the design of national income accounts to the US congress. Those were the hard times of the Great Depression and governments were desperately seeking some type of indicator to gauge if and how the economy was recovering. GDP did exactly that: it conflated the amount of spending in goods and services into one single number, which would go up in good times and down in bad times