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:
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.