‘Growth’ is increasingly becoming the key word in the current political debate. Since the financial crisis, Britain has endured one of its slowest economic recoveries and quarterly GDP growth figures are eagerly anticipated as measures of the Chancellor’s success or failure: a sign of whether things are getting better or worse.
However, there is increasing debate on whether GDP figures actually reflect well-being in society. Critics argue that the measure fails to capture the unequal distribution of returns to growth; it negates the potentially negative environmental impact of high growth at all costs; it ignores the realities of a world with finite resources; and, it cannot adequately reflect the multidimensional nature of welfare.
Given these regularly cited objections, should increasing GDP growth rates be a policy target at all? Must the Government look beyond GDP for determinants of its performance? Oulton, will respond to these and other criticisms regularly launched against GDP as a measure of economic performance and outline why increasing the GDP growth rate must remain a central policy objective for governments.
Nicholas Oulton will defend the continued importance of the GDP growth rate as a policy target. Oulton, a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics and consultant to the Bank of England, will respond to the criticisms regularly launched against GDP as a measure of economic performance and outline why increasing the GDP growth rate must remain a central policy objective for governments.
This event is kindly supported by the ESRC.