Monday, June 25, 2018

Austin Clemens — Policymakers can’t tackle inequitable growth if it isn’t measured

What we need is to disaggregate growth and report on the progress of all Americans. Instead of the one-number-fits-all approach of GDP growth, this new system would report growth for Americans along the income curve, much as the graphs above do. It might indicate, for example, that the bottom 50 percent of Americans experienced growth of 1.3 percent while Americans in the top 1 percent of earners experienced 4.5 percent income growth.
Unfortunately, such a system is not currently possible. The graphs above were created using academic datasets for which no federally produced analog exists. GDP growth is reported by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, but the BEA is currently incapable of creating a system of distributional national accounts because it lacks the necessary data to do so. This problem is outlined in our recent report on the issue. Correcting it will require action from Congress and the executive branch. Without it, policymakers and pundits will continue to trumpet a measure of economic progress that does not tell the real story of the economy.
WCEG — The Equitablog
Policymakers can’t tackle inequitable growth if it isn’t measured
Austin Clemens | Computational Social Scientist at WCEG

1 comment:

Matt Franko said...

How do they know it’s inequitable if it wasn’t already measured?