Is Economic Growth Good For Us?

Nicholas Crafts

Published: September 2003

This article reviews Britain’s experience of economic growth in the twentieth century. It argues that average living standards have risen much more rapidly than is generally appreciated. The main reasons for this include increased life expectancy which is highly valued by the public and downward bias in conventional estimates introduced by traditional price deflators which do not measure the true cost of living. The main policy implication of this analysis is the need to think about the value of outcomes if appropriate public expenditure policies are to be implemented.

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