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Grant number like: HB-50277-13

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Dirk Peter Philipsen
Virginia State University (Petersburg, VA 23803-2520)

Awards for Faculty
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$33,600 (approved)
$33,600 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2013 – 8/31/2013

A History of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Since the Great Depression, U.S. economic policy-making has depended on a set of accounts first developed by Simon Kuznets during the height of the Great Depression. Today better known as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), national income accounts were adopted, in the aftermath of World War II, by nations around the world. Soon, they became a national and international shorthand for economic performance, and are commonly used as a key indicator for national welfare. Initially a great accomplishment, GDP is increasingly criticized for failing to measure all that matters. Scholars' critiques of GDP are widely understood by now, yet no history exists to explain how an income and product account moved from national bookkeeping tool to become an international economic benchmark and subsequently morphed into a worldwide standard for progress, well-being, and success. This is such a history.