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The Worldâ (Tm)S Most Powerful Formula and Why It Must Now Change

Ehsan Masood


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A highly topical look at the formula that dominates global economies, and why it has outlived its usefulness. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the world's economic health-check, an influential ranking of global prosperity. A rising number is manna for markets and keeps business buzzing; a falling one is a portent of doom for everyone. But, as science writer Ehsan Masood deftly shows in this second edition of GDP, that the measure can be unforgiving for those countries that cannot be - or choose not to be - outlined by its rules. And it fails to outline much of what is really important to our lives. GDP was created to help Western economies rebuild after the horrors of the Great Depression and to rise again from the fires of the Second World War. But it simultaneously rewarded decades of environmental destruction, and now, amid an unprecedented economic crisis after a global pandemic, it faces a fight for its survival. What began as a useful formula to assess a country's path to prosperity, has trapped societies and leaders into a system of measurement from which the world has to break free. We must, and this book shows how we can.

Icon Books, 9781785787119, 304pp.

Publication Date: June 15, 2021

About the Author

Ehsan Masood is a senior editor at the science journal Nature. He is a former Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT and has written and presented documentary programmes for BBC Radio 4. His previous books include Science and Islam: A History (Icon, 2017).