The Little Big Number: How GDP Came to Rule the World and What to Do about It

The Little Big Number: How GDP Came to Rule the World and What to Do about It

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The story of GDP and why we need a better measurement of growth

In one lifetime, GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, has ballooned from a narrow economic tool into a global article of faith. As The Little Big Number demonstrates, this spells trouble. While economies and cultures measure their performance by it, GDP only measures output. It ignores central facts such as quality, costs, or purpose. Sustainability and quality of life are overlooked. Losses don't count. The world can no longer afford GDP rule--GDP ignores real development. Dirk Philipsen demonstrates how the history of GDP reveals unique opportunities to fashion smarter goals and measures. The Little Big Number explores a possible roadmap for a future that advances quality of life rather than indiscriminate growth.

Author: Dirk Philipsen
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Published: 05/26/2015
Pages: 416
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.60lbs
Size: 9.40h x 6.20w x 1.30d
ISBN: 9780691166520

Review Citation(s):
Choice 10/01/2015

About the Author
Dirk Philipsen is a German- and American-trained professor of economic history at the Sanford School of Public Policy and a senior fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, both at Duke University.