Economic Indicators Barely Reflect Digital Economy's Impact on Social Welfare, Nobel Winner Says
Gao Ya
/SOURCE : yicai
Economic Indicators Barely Reflect Digital Economy's Impact on Social Welfare, Nobel Winner Says

(Yicai Global) June 26 -- Indicators including economic growth and productivity hardly reflect the digital economy's impact on social welfare, and an evaluation of the changes brought by digital economy is necessary in multiple dimensions, for example, in medical care, with regard to children, material wealth, income distribution, social relations and other areas of public concern.

Michael Spence, a Nobel laureate in economics and a professor at New York University, made these remarks at the opening ceremony yesterday for the two-day Luohan Academy 2019 Digital Economy Conference.

Spence believes the digital economy's development has penetrated all aspects of public life and affected income distribution, global supply chains, healthcare and other sectors. People's cognition has also been biased along with its growth, however, in his view.

Some developed countries were quite positive about the digital economy three or four years ago, but now most of them deem it bad, Spencer said.

Some chief executives who have hired professionals to help transform their businesses to digital question its impact as they have seen no significant earnings improvements, he says.

In this regard, he believes that the benefits of digitizing may not materialize all that quickly.

Using gross domestic product as an indicator to measure the benefit of the online economy is inaccurate, Spence argues. For example, the virtual economy has greatly reduced costs through economies of scale, but statistics fail to reflect this decrease.

Luohan Academy is a Hangzhou-based research platform set up by tech titan Alibaba Group Holding and co-sponsored by high-profile scholars in sociology, economics, psychology and other fields across the world to study the social and economic changes associated with technological innovation.

Editor: Ben Armour

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Keywords: Michael Spence , Luohan Academy Digital Economy Conference