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The Economists’ Voice

Ed. by Belke, Ansgar / Schnabl, Gunther

CiteScore 2018: 0.07

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.109
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.044

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Volume 15, Issue 1


On the Accuracy of Estimating the Inflation Rate: Marty Feldstein as Dr. Pangloss

John Komlos
  • Corresponding author
  • University of Munich, Munich, Germany
  • Visiting Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
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  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2018-10-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ev-2018-0029


Martin Feldstein argues “that ‘true’ real output is growing faster than the official estimates imply and that the corresponding ‘true’ GDP price index is rising more slowly than the official one – or is actually declining.” In contrast, we argue that there is no real reason for such optimism. There are many negative developments that Feldstein overlooks such as subjective evaluations of well-being, incarceration rates, suicide rates, and the opioid epidemic. Moreover, he neglects completely the skewed distributions of income and wealth which leaves many families with inadequate savings and scrapping to make ends meet even if the average incomes grow. Feldstein overlooks also the many bite-backs of innovation such as the way the internet enabled foreign governments to interfere in the political process. In short, Feldstein’s view is Panglossian. He sees only the positives in technological change but fails to acknowledge the many negatives including global warming. As Stiglitz et al., suggest, “one of the reasons that most people may perceive themselves as being worse off even though average GDP is increasing is because they are indeed worse off (2010).”

Keywords: economic growth; technological change; welfare; measurement of inflation


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About the article

Published Online: 2018-10-24

Citation Information: The Economists’ Voice, Volume 15, Issue 1, 20180029, ISSN (Online) 1553-3832, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ev-2018-0029.

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