Tuesday, February 14, 2017

David F. Ruccio — Make GDP great again

Here’s what folks need to understand: mainstream economists like Feldstein, who celebrate an economic system based on private property and free markets, build and use models in which market prices capture all the relevant costs and benefits to society. And, since GDP is an accounting system based on adding up transactions of goods and services based on market prices, for mainstream economists it should represent an accurate measure of the “public’s well-being.”
Mainstream economists can’t have it both ways—either market prices do accurately reflect social costs and benefits or they don’t. If they do, then Feldstein & Co need to stick with the level and rate of growth of GDP as the appropriate measure of the wealth of the nation. And, if they don’t, all their claims about the wonders of free markets simply dissolve.…
This quote summarizes the point — market information doesn't capture social welfare. More good stuff at the link. GPP measures transactions rather than product. Many transactions are non-productive.

Occasional Links & Commentary
Make GDP great again
David F. Ruccio | Professor of Economics, University of Notre Dame

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