ESCoE Conference on Economic Measurement 2021

Tuesday 11 May to Thursday 13 May 2021


11 - 13 May 2021 







About EM2021

The Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE) will hold its annual conference, organised in partnership with the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS), online on 11-13 May 2021

The conference is a meeting place for discussing recent research advances in economic measurement and statistics. The programme includes papers on many aspects of the measurement and use of economic statistics, focusing on the following:

What to expect at the virtual EM2021 Conference?

Scientific Committee Co - chairs

Ana Beatriz Galvão (University of Warwick and ESCoE)

Ana Beatriz Galvão is Professor of Economic Modelling and Forecasting at Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, where she leads the Macroeconomic Policy and Forecasting Network. Her research on empirical macroeconomics and forecasting has been widely published in leading academic journals. She is an ESCoE Research Associate and an ONS Fellow.

Gary Koop (University of Strathclyde and ESCoE)

Gary Koop is a Professor in the Department of Economics and Fraser of Allander Institute at the University of Strathclyde. His research in Bayesian econometrics has resulted in many publications in journals such as the Journal of Econometrics, the Journal of Business and Economic Statistics and the Journal of the American Statistical Association. In recent years, most of his research has applied Bayesian tools to macroeconomic models. He has published several textbooks, including Bayesian Econometrics, Bayesian Econometric Methods, Introduction to Econometrics and Analysis of Economic Data.

Sanjiv Mahajan (Office for National Statistics)

Sanjiv Mahajan is the Head of Methods and Research Engagement at the Office for National Statistics (ONS). He has worked in the private sector (as a stockbroker and a retail manager) and then the ONS covering the breadth and depth of National Accounts’ conceptual and methodological development, practical compilation, business registers and surveys, environmental accounts, regional accounts, EU statistical legislation and led the introduction of many new initiatives improving UK economic statistics. He is also a Member of the United Nations Advisory Expert Group on National Accounts; Council of the International Input-Output Association; OECD Bureau of National Accounts and the UNECE Standing Group for the Expert Group on National Accounts.

Keynote Speakers

Katharine G. Abraham (University of Maryland)

Katharine Abraham is Professor of Economics and Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland, College Park. She formerly served as commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and, most recently, as chair of the U.S. Commission on Evidence-based Policymaking. Her published research includes papers on the contingent workforce; the work and retirement decisions of older Americans; unemployment and job vacancies; and the measurement of economic activity. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association, and a fellow of both the American Statistical Association and Society of Labor Economists. She has a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.

Big Data for 21st Century Economic Statistics

The infrastructure and methods for developed countries’ economic statistics, largely established in the mid-20th century, rest almost entirely on survey and administrative data. The increasing difficulty of obtaining survey participation threatens this model. Meanwhile, users of economic data are demanding ever more timely and granular information. “Big data” originally created for other purposes—for example, detailed transactional data from retail scanners, credit card records, bank account records, payroll records, insurance records, data automatically recorded by sensors or mobile devices and even data obtained from websites and social media platforms—offer the promise of new approaches to the compilation of economic statistics that can address these challenges. Drawing on the U.S. experience, the talk will consider progress towards incorporating big data into the production of economic statistics and the challenges to realising their full potential.

Richard Blundell (University College London and Institute for Fiscal Studies)

Professor Sir Richard Blundell is Ricardo Chair of Political Economy at University College London. He is also Director of the ESRC Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy at the Institute for Fiscal Studies. He has received many honours and prizes including the Yrjö Jahnsson Prize; the Frisch Prize; the Jean-Jacques Laffont Prize; the BBVA Prize; and the Erwin Plein Nemmers Prize. His published papers on microeconometrics, consumer behaviour, savings, labour supply, public finance, innovation, and inequality have appeared in the top academic journals. He is editor of Microeconomic Insights, and panel member of the IFS-Deaton Review of Inequality.

Wage Progression of Low Skill Workers: The Role of Occupations and Firms

Low-wage and low-educated workers experience little pay progression. For these workers employment is increasingly not enough to move them out of poverty or for longer run self-sufficiency. Using high quality matched worker-firm data for the UK we drill down to see what characteristics of occupations and firms drive differences in wage progression. We show that workers in low-educated occupations where soft skills are important receive higher returns to experience than workers in other low-educated occupations. Matching in R&D data we find these returns are higher in more innovative firms. We argue that soft skills are complementary to the firm’s other assets which increases the worker’s value to the firm and allow them to capture a higher share of the surplus (based on joint research with Philippe Aghion, Antonin Bergeaud and Rachel Griffith).

Paul Schreyer (OECD)

Paul Schreyer was nominated Chief Statistician of the OECD and Director of the Statistics and Data Directorate in 2020. He joined the Organisation in 1988 and held various positions in the (then) Directorates for Science Technology and Industry, Environment and Statistics. Before joining the OECD, he was a research fellow at the IFO Institute for Economic Research in Munich, Germany and Assistant Professor at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. Paul Schreyer holds a Ph.D. in economics. His personal research areas include national accounts, the measurement of capital, productivity, welfare, non-market activities and prices. He is the author of several OECD Manuals and has a record of publications in international journals and books. In 2008-09, he was rapporteur in the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress.

Framing Measurement Beyond GDP

While the Beyond GDP agenda has been with us for some time, it has come centre stage in the COVID-19 crisis. The idea of building back a greener, more inclusive, more resilient economy is widespread and resonates well with measurement efforts beyond GDP. But the field of potential indicators is vast and choices need some structure. We present a simple measurement framework that is inspired by the green accounting literature and we discuss some of the challenges and opportunities arising with its implementation.


The conference programme is available to download here

Please note, we are using Zoom to host all sessions (please ensure you have a Zoom account ahead of the conference to avoid delays). Your organisation may have firewalls preventing you from accessing certain platforms so we recommend you check as you may need to use a personal device and email account to attend.

For outputs from our EM2020 conference please click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Although we know there is nothing like a physical event, our virtual conference will simulate a physical event environment with virtual lobbies, live keynote lectures, parallel sessions and panel discussions, breakout rooms, an exhibition of research posters and downloadable resources.
Yes, the event is free but you must register in order to attend.
Yes, guidance on how to navigate through the platform will be made available before the conference along with an introductory video. There will also be a ‘manned’ information desk within the platform for any queries you may have.
You can log on using any device as long as you have an internet connection. Simply use the login credentials provided at registration. Please note your organisation may have firewalls preventing you from accessing certain platforms so we recommend you check first in case you need to use a personal device. You will also need access to Zoom for sessions. We recommend setting up an account ahead of time by visiting the Zoom website.
Yes, but to get a better experience we recommend using a desktop or laptop.
Yes, all delegates must register in order to join the conference.
Registration will be open until the conference closes. But we recommend you register in good time to avoid any delays in accessing the platform.
Yes you can, all you need to do is to enter your login credentials which will be provided after registration via email. You can also access and leave the platform anytime during the conference.
If you are no longer able to attend, then please cancel your registration.
No, please do not pass on your registration details to another user.
Yes, breakout rooms for group discussions on specific topics will be available during the breaks. We also encourage all delegates to include a profile photo during registration to create a friendlier experience.
Yes, sessions will be recorded, and we will publish recordings and slides on the ESCoE website after the event.
Each delegate will have access to their own Conference Bag where documents such as the Conference Programme and other relevant documents can be saved. Documents saved in the Conference Bag can be immediately emailed to yourself or others. The Conference Bag is also accessible 2 weeks after the event.
Yes there will be. You can access support by clicking on the information desk in the lobby area or alternatively via the options list within the platform.