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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Big Economy Chat Live: David Pilling; "The Growth Delusion"

This event will mark the launch of David Pilling's new book 'The Growth Delusion: The Wealth and Well-Being of Nations'.

In The Growth Delusion, author and prize-winning journalist David Pilling explores how economists and their cult of growth have hijacked our policy-making and infiltrated our thinking about what makes societies work. Our policies are geared relentlessly towards increasing our standard measure of growth, Gross Domestic Product. By this yardstick we have never been wealthier or happier. So why doesn't it feel that way? Why are we living in such fractured times, with global populism on the rise and wealth inequality as stark as ever?

In a book that is simultaneously trenchant, thought-provoking and entertaining, Pilling argues that we need to measure our successes and failures using different criteria. While for economic growth, heroin consumption and prostitution are worth more than volunteer work or public services, in a rational world we would learn how to value what makes economies better, not just what makes them bigger. So much of what is important to our wellbeing, from clean air to safe streets and from steady jobs to sound minds, lies outside the purview of our standard measure of success. We prioritise growth maximisation without stopping to think about the costs. 

Pilling argues that our steadfast loyalty to growth is informing misguided policies – and contributing to a rising mistrust of experts that is shaking the very foundations of our democracy.

The event will feature a keynote adress from David Pilling, will be chaired by Laurie Laybourn-Langton, Senior Research Fellow at IPPR, with a response from Catherine Colebrook, Chief Economist and Associate Director for Economy at IPPR.

Register for this event using the link below. 

Check out IPPR's Big Economy Chat podcast.