Talking About the National Accounts: Statistics and the Democratic Conversation

Posted: 24 Aug 2015

See all articles by Diane Coyle

Diane Coyle

Bennett Institute for Public Policy

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 1, 2015

Abstract

Official statistics, particularly GDP and its growth rate, are an important means for citizens to hold their governments to account. However, this democratic conversation (and even economic research) rarely acknowledge the large degree of uncertainty and revision of the statistics. Moreover, the national accounts are of decreasing relevance to economies that are ever more intangible, complex and involve cross-border production chains. Nor do the existing statistics measure sustainability or the aspects of consumer welfare that are increasingly important to citizens (including 'free' digital innovations). All of these issues point to major challenges in the conceptualisation and measurement of the economy.

Keywords: GDP, national accounts, statistics, innovation, political economy

JEL Classification: C40, O30, D60

Suggested Citation

Coyle, Diane, Talking About the National Accounts: Statistics and the Democratic Conversation (May 1, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2649372

Diane Coyle (Contact Author)

Bennett Institute for Public Policy ( email )

Alison Richard Building
7 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DT
Great Britain

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