The Sixth IMF Statistical Forum: Measuring Economic Well-Being in the Digital Age: What and How?

Monday, November 19, 2018 (Day 1)

8h00

Registration and continental breakfast

8:45 am

Welcome, Louis Marc Ducharme, Chief Statistician and Data Officer, and Director, Statistics Department, IMF

8:50 a.m.

Introduction to the Forum, David Lipton, First Deputy Managing Director, IMF

Summary

9:15 a.m.

SESSION I. FRAMEWORK FOR ECONOMIC WELL-BEING “BEYOND GDP”. WHAT’S NEW IN THE DIGITAL AGE?

Why do we need welfare measures directly linked to economic progress but not captured by existing national accounts and price statistics? Has the need for indicators to know whether growth has been inclusive become more urgent? What about non-market household production (for example, housekeeping, childcare, cooking, and volunteer services)? Has digitization allowed welfare and non-market production to grow more than GDP?

Summary

Chair: Louis Marc Ducharme, Chief Statistician and Data Officer, and Director, Statistics Department, IMF

Charles Hulten (University of Maryland) with Leonard Nakamura, Taking into account growth in the Internet age: the importance of technical change saving production

Paper presentation

Leonardo Nakamura (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia) with Diane Coyle, Towards a framework for time use, well-being and household-centered economic measurement

Paper presentation

Lucas chancel (Paris School of Economics), with Facundo Alvaredo, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman The elephant curve of global inequality and growth

Paper presentation

Questions from the audience

11:00

Coffee To break

11:20 a.m.

SESSION II. CURRENT STATE OF OFFICIAL STATISTICS FOR MEASURING ECONOMIC WELL-BEING

National statistical offices are already measuring some well-being indicators beyond GDP and preparing the ground for measuring others. What are the recent successes and advances in the development of additional measures of well-being? Given that resources are limited, what are the priorities?

Summary

President: Anil Arora, Chief Statistician of Canada

Gabriel Quiros Romero and Marshal Reinsdorf with Jennifer Ribarsky (IMF Statistics Department), Measuring economic well-being: inventory and priorities

Presentation

Will make Achyunda (Statistics Indonesia) with Silvia Arini, Measuring sustainable economic well-being in the digital age

Paper presentation

Pierre Van de Ven, (OECD), Measuring economic well-being: a practical program for the present and the future

Paper presentation

Questions from the audience

12:40

Breakfast

13:40

SESSION III. WHAT IS THE VALUE OF PRICELESS SOFTWARE AND DATA? PLATFORMS AND MARKETS

Open source software and free services provided by platforms that collect user data occupy a prominent place in the digital economy. Valuing free software and digital platform data at zero seems unsatisfactory even though in national accounts the value is usually deducted from prices. On the negative side, do platforms put a risk to growth and stability?

Summary

President: Kristina Kostial, Deputy Director, IMF Strategy, Policy and Review Department

Carol A. Robbins, (National Science Foundation (USA)), with Gizem Korkmaz, José Bayoán Santiago Calderón, Claire Kelling, Stephanie Shipp and Sallie Keller, Free software as intangible capital: measuring the cost and impact of free digital tools

Paper presentation

Wendy Li, (US Bureau of Economic Analysis), with Makoto Nirei and Kazufumi Yamana, Data value: a free lunch does not exist in the digital economy

Paper presentation

Rana foroohar, (Financial Times), Platforms, markets and risks for growth and stability

Questions from the audience

3:15 p.m.

Coffee Pause

3:40 p.m.

SESSION IV. MEASURING THE GROWTH OF WELL-BEING: CASES OF NEW DIGITAL SERVICES AND PUBLIC GOODS

New free digital products and non-tariffed public goods have important effects on well-being, but measuring these effects can be difficult. Can a conceptual framework and a set of practical estimation techniques be identified to account for new and non-tariffed services in the digital and public sectors in the measurement of welfare growth and output growth?

Summary

President: Jihad Azour, Director, IMF Middle East and Central Asia Department

Kevin Fox, (UNSW Sydney), with Erik Brynjolfsson, Avinash Collis, Erwin Diewert and Felix Eggers, The digital economy, GDP and consumer well-being: theory and evidence

Paper presentation

Richard Heys, (Office for National Statistics (United Kingdom)) with Fred Foxton, Joe Grice and James Lewis, The implications of public goods for well-being: lessons from 10 years of Atkinson in the UK

Paper presentation

Questions from the audience

4:40 p.m.

Coffee Pause

5:00 p.m.

SESSION V. DISCUSSION PANEL: FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES

The panel will discuss what can be done, what are the priorities and challenges for national statistical offices to go beyond the current standard framework of macroeconomic statistics to develop indicators of economic well-being as discussed in this forum.

Summary

Chairman: Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director, IMF

Feng Lyu, National Bureau of Statistics, China

Yemi Kale, General Statistician, National Bureau of Statistics of Nigeria

Ian Goldin, Oxford University

Questions from the audience

6:00 p.m.

Cocktail dinner, hosted by DMD Tao Zhang, IMF