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

Venue: IMF HQ2 Conference Halls

November 19-20, 2018

Videos of conference sessions

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    Preliminary Agenda (As of October 23, 2018)

    Note: The live webcasts will be available on this page for the opening remarks, session V, keynote speech and one-on-one discussion.


    Agenda and Speakers Bios

    Monday, November 19, 2018 (Day 1)

    8:00 am

    Registration and Continental Breakfast

    8:45 am

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

    8:50 am

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

    9:15 am

    SESSION I. FRAMEWORK FOR ECONOMIC WELFARE “BEYOND GDP”. WHAT IS NEW IN THE DIGITAL AGE?

    Why do we need measures of welfare that is directly linked to economic progress but not captured by existing national accounts and price statistics? Has the need for indicators of whether growth has been inclusive become more urgent? What about household non-market production (e.g., housekeeping, child care, cooking and services of volunteers)? Has digitalization allowed welfare and non-market production to grow more than GDP?

     

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

     

    Charles Hulten (University of Maryland) with Leonard Nakamura, Accounting for Growth in the Age of the Internet: The Importance of Output-Saving Technical Change

    Paper  Presentation

     

    Leonard Nakamura (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia) with Diane Coyle, Towards a Framework for Time Use, Welfare and Household-centric 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 am

    Coffee Break

    11:20 am

    SESSION II. CURRENT STATE OF PLAY IN OFFICIAL STATISTICS FOR MEASURING ECONOMIC WELFARE

    National Statistics Offices are already measuring some indicators of welfare beyond GDP and laying the groundwork to measure others. What are the recent successes and advances in developing supplementary measures of welfare? Given that there are limited resources, what are the priorities?

     

    Chair: Anil Arora, Chief Statistician of Canada

     

    Gabriel Quirós Romero and Marshall Reinsdorf with Jennifer Ribarsky (IMF Statistics Department), Measuring Economic Welfare: State of Play and Priorities

    Presentation

     

    Rendra Achyunda (Statistics Indonesia) with Silvia Arini, Measuring Sustainable Economic Welfare in the Digital Era

    Paper   Presentation

     

    Peter Van de Ven, (OECD), Measuring Economic Welfare: A Practical Agenda for the Present and the Future

    Paper   Presentation

     

    Questions from the audience

    12:40 pm

    Lunch

    1:40 pm

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

    Free software and free services supplied by platforms that collect users’ data are prominent in the digital economy. Valuing open source software and the data of digital platforms at zero seems unsatisfactory even though in national accounts value is usually inferred from prices. On the downside, do platforms put a risk to growth and stability?

     

    Chair: 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, Open Source Software as Intangible Capital: Measuring the Cost and Impact of Free Digital Tools

    Paper   Presentation

     

    Wendy Li, (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis), with Makoto Nirei, and Kazufumi Yamana, Value of Data: There’s no Such Thing as a Free Lunch in the Digital Economy

    Paper   Presentation

    Rana Foroohar, (Financial Times), Platforms, Markets and Risks to Growth and Stability

     

    Questions from the audience

    3:15 pm

    Coffee break

    3:40 pm

    SESSION IV. MEASURING WELFARE GROWTH: CASES OF NEW DIGITAL SERVICES AND PUBLIC GOODS

    New and free digital products and unpriced public goods have important effects on welfare but measuring these effects can be challenging. Can a conceptual framework and set of practical estimation techniques be identified for accounting for new and unpriced services in the digital and government sectors in measuring welfare growth and output growth?

     

    Chair: 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 Welfare: Theory and Evidence

    Paper   Presentation

     

    Richard Heys, (Office for National Statistics (UK)) with Fred Foxton, Joe Grice and James Lewis, The Welfare Implications of Public Goods: Lessons from 10 years of Atkinson in the UK

    Paper   Presentation

     

    Questions from the audience

    4:40 pm

    Coffee break

    5:00 pm

    SESSION V. PANEL DISCUSSION: FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE ACROSS DIVERSE COUNTRIES

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

     

    Chair: Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director, IMF

     

    Feng Lyu, National Bureau of Statistics, China

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

    Ian Goldin, University of Oxford

     

    Questions from the audience

    6:00 pm

    Cocktail Reception, hosted by DMD Tao Zhang, IMF

                                                                                                                                             

     

     

    Tuesday, November 20, 2018 (day 2)

    8:00 am

    Continental Breakfast

    8:30 am

    SESSION VI. WELFARE EFFECTS FROM E-COMMERCE AND FINTECH

    Online marketplaces and retailing have increased consumers’ access to varieties and saved consumers time. Fintech has helped to make payment and credit services more widely available and lowered their costs. What are the welfare effects, and how can we measure them?

     

    Chair: Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, Deputy director, IMF Research Department

     

    Lizhi Liu, (Georgetown University) with Victor Couture, Benjamin Faber, and Yizhen Gu, E-Commerce Integration and Economic Development: Evidence from China

    Paper   Presentation

     

    Zhao Li Meng, (JD Finance Institute), Opportunities and Risks to Economic Welfare from Fintech

    Presentation

     

    Peter J. Klenow, (Stanford University), with Liran Einav, Benjamin Klopack, Jonathan D. Levin, Larry Levin, and Wayne Best, Assessing the Gains from E-Commerce

    Paper   Presentation

     

    Questions from the audience

    10:00 am

    Coffee break

     

    SESSION VII. IS ALL FOR THE GOOD IN THE DIGITAL AGE?

    Although digitalization has improved life in many ways, the digital age is also a time of growing polarization of income and wealth distributions, and of high levels of market monopolization in industries with strong network and scale effects. Technologies such as artificial intelligence could potentially have effects that exacerbate inequality and monopolization. Welfare can be negatively affected. What are the measurement implications, and what data are needed to support policy responses?

    10:20 am

    Chair: Gerard Thomas Rice, Director, IMF Communication Department

     

    Ian Goldin, (University of Oxford), Income and Development in a Digital Age

     

    Gillian Tett, (Financial Times), From the Amazon (jungle) to Amazon (warehouses): How Anthropology Can Help us to Rethink the Digital Economy

     

    Questions from the audience

    11:35 am

    Coffee Break

    12:00 pm

    Keynote speech, Jim Balsillie: Chair, Centre for International Governance Innovation, Measuring Intangible Assets (IP & Data) for the Knowledge-Based and Data Driven Economy

     

    12:45 pm

    One-on-one discussion

    Jim Balsillie, Chair, Centre for International Governance Innovation

    Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF

     

    Questions from the audience

    1:30 pm

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


    Organizers:
    Gabriel Quirós Romero, Nabila Akhazzan

    E-mail : STAForum@imf.org

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