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Economic Rockstar

Nov 12, 2015

Morton Jerven is Professor of Economic History and Development at the School for International Studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada.

In 2014, Morton was appointed Associate Professor in Global Change and International Relations at Noragrica at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences.

Morton has published widely on African economic development, and particularly on patterns of economic growth and on economic development statistics.

Upon the release of his book, Poor Numbers: How We Are Misled by African Development Statistics and What to Do about It, Morton caused uproar across Africa and had been expelled from two conferences. His latest book Africa: Why Economists Get It Wrong is now available on Amazon.

Morton is an economic historian, with an MSc and PhD from the London School of Economics.


In this episode, you will learn:

  • why Morten was expelled from two conferences in Africa
  • about the knowledge problem that exists in economic statistical data.
  • whether economic data from African countries is intentionally misleading or if it’s a methodology and availability problem.
  • what is GDP and why is it used.
  • the problems with measuring GDP.
  • why the production approach is really the only valid method to measuring GDP.
  • whether we should allow Google and other companies that store big data to provide economic data.
  • whether cooperation or conflict between big data and official statistics will emerge.
  • how observing the brightness of countries from space is now being used to measure economic growth.
  • what the IMF does to missing data, such as GDP.
  • and much more.
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