Winners announced of economics prize to give GDP a radical shake-up

 
Rebecca Smith
The Indigo Prize winners were challenged to consider how to measure economic activity in a 21st century economy
The Indigo Prize winners were challenged to consider how to measure economic activity in a 21st century economy (Source: Getty)

The winners of a new economics prize calling on entrants for how best to measure economic activity have been announced today.

The Indigo Prize was awarded in a joint split, with £125,000 to be shared between Diane Coyle, the professor of economics at Manchester University, and Jonathan Haskel, of Imperial Business School.

Coyle’s entry, co-written with Benjamin Mitra-Kahn, proposed a radical replacement of GDP with a dashboard measuring six key assets spanning physical assets, natural capital, human capital, intellectual property, social and institutional capital, and net financial capital.

Read more: UK GDP growth to edge higher for the third quarter

Haskel’s proposed repointing GDP in line with the transformation of economic structure.

Judges included former banker Mervyn Davies, former Goldman Sachs Asset Management chair Jim O’Neill, Lastminute.com co-founder Brent Hoberman and former digital minister Ed Vaizey.

O’Neill said: “The data we currently have isn’t reflective of modern economies. Reported productivity in the UK is very weak, but that might be because we can’t measure new changes to our economy based on technological services like Uber and fast food delivery. I applaud this effort to reward people who are thinking how we can gather new data.”

The £10,000 third prize for a rising star was awarded to Alice Lassman, a 19-year-old Geography student at Durham University. Her entry, the global integration individual potential index, considered nations from two perspectives: its individuals and the activity they generate, and by their standing on the global stage.

The prize aimed to stimulate debate about factors currently measured, given evolving economies, technology and skill bases.

Read more: Behavioural economics has its Nobel moment but take it with a pinch of salt

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