I presented the Colin Clark lecture today, on the topic “National Accounting and the Digital Economy: The Case of the NBN’
Colin Clark’s greatest contribution to economics was his pioneering role in the construction of national accounts. In the industrial economy of the 20th century, the central problem in the national accounting was the need to avoid double counting, by measuring only the value added at each stage of production. This problem is closely related to that of benefit-cost analysis for public projects. In the 21st century digital economy, value is primarily derived from the flow of information rather than physical inputs and outputs. This creates new problems for national accounting, and for benefit-cost analysis. One example of these problems is the question of how to evaluate alternative proposals for the National Broadband Network.
Paul Syvret covered it in the Courier-Mail. I also did an interview with Steve Austin on the local ABC 612, which started off with a brief discussion of Rudd’s economic legacy, and another for AM on Radio National which didn’t make it to air.
The slides are here
fn1. Illustrated with a slightly goofy candid shot, taken in the ABC Green Room