In Measuring the Economy, We Are Doing It Wrong


Measuring things is essential to both economics and engineering, and while engineers strive for both accuracy and repeatability, economists play by a different set of rules. Consider civil engineering. When Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in August 2005, it surpassed Hurricane Andrew in 1992 as the costliest hurricane ever hit the United States. When a civil engineer designs a structure, however, the design anticipates an expected lifetime that might be 30, 50 or 75 years. Som…
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