GDP (Paperback)

The World’s Most Powerful Formula and Why it Must Now Change

Ehsan Masood

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A highly topical look at the formula that dominates economics, and why it has outlived its usefulness.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the world’s economic health-check, an influential ranking of global prosperity. A rising number is manna for markets and keeps business buzzing; a falling one is a portent of doom for everyone.

But, as science writer Ehsan Masood deftly shows, GDP can be unforgiving for those countries that cannot be – or choose not to be – measured by its rules. And it fails to measure much of what is really important to our lives. GDP was created to help Western economies rebuild after the horrors of the Great Depression and to rise again from the fires of the Second World War. But it simultaneously rewarded decades of environmental destruction, and now, amid an unprecedented economic crisis, it faces a fight for its survival.

What began as a useful formula to assess a country’s path to prosperity, has trapped societies and leaders into a system of measurement from which the world has to break free. We must, and this book shows how we can.

Ehsan Masood is a senior editor at the science journal Nature. He is a former Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT and has written and presented documentary programmes for BBC Radio 4. His previous books include Science and Islam: A History (Icon, 2017).

‘Masood contends that GDP is a bill of goods the developed world foisted on emerging nations. It is flawed, he argues, because the monetary value of all goods and services produced in a country makes no reference to social well-being or inequality. Masood is also troubled by GDP’s failure to consider the environmental damage that is, at times, a byproduct of growth. Many of Masood’s criticisms have merit. He presents some interesting alternatives. He favors revolutionary change.’Wall Street Journal, on the first edition


about this book

ISBN: 9781785787119

Price: 9.99 GBP

Pages: 304

Publication date: 04/03/2021

Category: Business

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