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Guest lecture

The Digital Economy, Welfare and Productivity Growth

Event series: 



Digital technologies are dramatically changing work, consumption and leisure, yet this is not appropriately reflected in official statistics (IMF 2018). This talk will discuss innovative methods to understand the impact of the Digital Economy on welfare, economic growth and productivity to better inform policy.

Productivity growth, a key driver of prosperity, has been remarkably slow since 2004 across industrialised countries. This is the very period during which there has been rapid technological change and an explosion in the consumption of digital products. The talk will address this seeming paradox through presenting theory and an empirical  methodology based on the collection of valuations of free digital products using massive online experiments. There will be an emphasis on the potential of harnessing the reach of the digital economy to improve core measures of economic performance.

About the presenter

Professor Kevin Fox
Director, Centre for Applied Economic Research, UNSW

Kevin Fox is a Professor and Director of Centre for Applied Economic Research at the UNSW Business School. He works primarily in the field of economic measurement, with a focus on productivity and prices. He is President-Elect of the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, and is currently leading a research group on the valuation of free digital assets and services for the UN/IMF/OECD/World Bank/Eurostat Intersecretariat Working Group on National Accounts. He was appointed as an Advisor to the Australian Treasury in 2016, chaired the 16th Series CPI Review Advisory Group in 2009-2010, and was a member of the Expert Working Group of the Australian Council of Learned Academies on productivity 2012-2014 that reported to the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council.

He is a member of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Methodology Advisory Committee and the Productivity Measurement Reference Group. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Productivity Analysis, and Editorial Board Member of the Review of Income & Wealth. After studying Japanese in Tokyo for two years, he studied economics at the University of Canterbury and the University of British Columbia. He served as Head of the UNSW School of Economics for five years, 2008-2012. He is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, Fellow of the Society for Economic Measurement, and a Member of the NBER-affiliated U.S. Conference on Research in Income and Wealth.

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Last updated: 
Tuesday, 7 April 2020