What is economic growth?

In a recent book examining the history of GDP, Diane Coyle asks some difficult questions about the way we measure national accounts.

Measuring stuff is one of the things that sets humans apart from the other animals on the planet. In some cases we are very good at it.

For example, scientists from the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics recently used a telescope at the South Pole to detect cosmic waves created a fraction of a second after the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago. An incredible achievement. So why are we so bad at measuring things such as the global economy

After all, most of us care more about where our next pay cheque is coming from than we do about the early universe. Yet the tool we use...

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