Productivity: Err maybe PAP not to blame?

In Economy on 09/06/2018 at 10:51 am

And there are free lunches available: not juz for our Hali and millionaire ministers.

Cyberspace is full of complaints (self included)  that PAP’s FT is responsible for the low producitivity of the labour force.

But maybe we all wrong

One of the big thinkers on the economics of technology tells us why its impact is not being properly measured in GDP figures. Erik Brynjolfsson was co-author of the Second Machine Age, the book which really kickstarted the debate about the impact of automation and is director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy.

He says the problem is that official data does not capture the value of services like Facebook or Wikipedia which are essentially free. He points out that in the early 1980s, information services accounted for 4.6% of US GDP – and the figure is exactly the same today, despite the huge advances in the technology sector.

Prof Brynjolfsson and his team set out to prove that value was being created by services like Facebook by asking people how much they would have to pay them to give them up for a month. The average answer was $42 (£31).

Why does this matter? “You can’t manage what you can’t measure,” he says. If we had some way of working out what technological advances had done to our economy, then we might understand that the last 10 years had not been as bad as we thought for our incomes.

“We haven’t got richer in terms of dollars or pounds or euros. But we have access to all the world’s information through Wikipedia, we can connect with friends and family – these are unpriced goods.”

So there are free lunches available for the taking.

Whatever, money is not the measure of all things: another Hard Truth demolished.



  1. That’s why PAPies measure GDP per capita for the masses and median wage of 1,000 top earners for themselves. There, problem solved!

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