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The Power of a Single NumberA Political History of GDP$
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Philipp Lepenies

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231175104

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231175104.001.0001

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date: 18 August 2017

The Frustrations of Colin Clark

The Frustrations of Colin Clark

England

Chapter:
(p.31) 3 The Frustrations of Colin Clark
Source:
The Power of a Single Number
Author(s):

Philipp Lepenies

, Jeremy Gaines
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231175104.003.0003

Tells the story of how, during the Great Depression, another Englishman, Collin Clark, revives the old idea of William Petty, invents many of the methodological features of GDP-calculation, calculates the number on his own and attempts to persuade British politicians that these national income statistics could be useful - yet, he fails in this attempt . However, his ideas are taken up by John Maynard Keynes who amends Clark's methodology to come up with his own calculation of national income during the war that suddenly proves useful to British politicians - yet the focus is on income for reasons of estimating the tax base.

Keywords:   National income calculation, England, Collin Clark, Keynes

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