Professor Dale W. Jorgenson in Littauer classroom

Journal of Economic Literature Sept. 2018

"Production and Welfare: Progress in Economic Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, September, Vol. LVI, No. 3. pp. 867-919.
by Dale W. Jorgenson

JEL logo

Abstract: While the GDP was intended by its originators as a measure of production, the absence of a measure of welfare in the national accounts has led to widespread misuse of the GDP to proxy welfare. Measures of welfare are needed to appraise the outcomes of changes in economic policies and evaluate the results. Concepts that describe the income distribution, such as poverty and inequality, fall within the scope of welfare rather than production. This paper reviews recent advances in the measurement of production and welfare within the national accounts, primarily in the United States and the international organizations. Expanding the framework beyond the national accounts has led to important innovations in the measurement of both production and welfare. Read More

Recent Presentations

G20 and the World Economy: Performance and Prospects

Presentation Date: 

Thursday, October 17, 2019


RIETI, Tokyo, Japan
Presentation at the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) Brown Bag Lunch (BBL) seminar to share research and  encourage lively discussion that contributes to dynamic policy-related debate.

G20 and the World Economy: Performance and Prospects

Presentation Date: 

Monday, October 14, 2019


Tsinghua University, Beijing
Keynote presentation at the Fifth Asian KLEMS Conference: Growth and Productivity Challenges in Asia and China from a Global Perspective.

China Human Capital 2018

Presentation Date: 

Friday, December 7, 2018


Keynote Lecture, 10th Annual Conference, China Center for Human Capital and Labor Market Research, Beijing, China

This is the 10th annual conference devoted to my approach to the measurement of investment in human capital for China. This has been carried out for individual provinces in China, as well as for China as a whole and is the most elaborate implementation of my approach to investment in human capital for any country in the world.

Keynote Lecture

Presentation Date: 

Friday, November 30, 2018


LA-KLEMS Conference, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC

Keynote Lecture: This includes a summary of recent developments in systems of national accounts. These developments include the incorporation of productivity growth in official systems of national accounts for more than forty countries, including the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Beyond GDP

Presentation Date: 

Monday, February 5, 2018


Brookings Institution, Washington, DC

Release of World Bank report, The Changing Wealth of Nations. This incorporates my approach for measuring investment in human capital into a complete set of accounts for wealth for 141 nations. This approach has also been used by the OECD in Paris, France. Investment in human capital is very important since this includes more than sixty percent of the increases in the wealth of a nation.


Jorgenson Addresses Japan Prime Minister Abe and Cabinet

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Cabinet ministers met with Professor Dale Jorgenson at a March 17, 2016, International Finance and Economic Assessment Council meeting. The global economy and finance meeting was organized by the Japanese government as part of their efforts to evaluate growth strategy. (Read More)

ROC President Ma meets Harvard Professor Dale Jorgenson

Professor Dale Jorgenson seated with President Ma

President Ma Ying-jeou met on the morning of August 14, 2015 with Dale W. Jorgenson, Samuel W. Morris University Professor at Harvard University, and Mrs. Jorgenson. Addressing his guests, the president spoke about the recent state of Taiwan's economy, and government efforts and approaches to promoting Taiwan's industrial transformation.

In his remarks, President Ma acknowledged that Professor Jorgenson founded the Asia KLEMS Conference, whose primary objective is to promote the building of databases based on the KLEMS methodology, which analyzes capital (K), labor (L), energy (E), materials (M), and services (S) inputs. The KLEMS database is already widely applied in economic development in countries throughout Asia, and helps compare and analyze changes in industrial structure and productivity. This year's KLEMS Conference will focus on the themes "Structural Changes and Productivity Growth in Asian Countries" and "Asia's Revival—The New Economic Driver." These topics are extremely important in light of the challenges that Asian nations are currently facing in transforming their economic and industrial structures. President Ma said the discussions will provide valuable reference points for governments in policy planning. (Read More or access link)

Harvard Magazine, Sept. -Oct. 2014

Time to Tax Carbon
Enhancing environmental quality and economic growth

In December of this year, representatives from nations around the world will meet in Paris to discuss a global climate-change agreement that would take effect in 2020. Central to those discussions will be setting a price on carbon and its equivalents—a figure that captures the social costs of releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

As the no doubt fraught scientific and political discussion in the French capital nears, the work of Morris University Professor Dale Jorgenson, an economist known for his ability to marry theory and practice, is  especially important. (Read More)

Samuel W. Morris University Professor

Dale W. Jorgenson is the Samuel W. Morris University Professor at Harvard University. He was awarded the prestigious John Bates Clark Medal by the American Economic Association in 1971 and served as President of the Association in 2000. He has been honored with nine honorary doctorates and membership in the American Philosophical Society, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Jorgenson was a Founding Member of the Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy of the National Research Council in 1991 and served as Chairman of the Board from 1998 to 2006.

Jorgenson has conducted groundbreaking research on information technology and economic growth, energy and the environment, tax policy and investment behavior, and applied econometrics. He is the author of more than 300 articles in economics and the author and editor of 37 books. His latest book published in December 2016, The World Economy: Growth or Stagnation, is edited with Kyoji Fukao and Marcel Timmer and published by the Cambridge University Press. This book presents new information on productivity and economic growth for more than forty countries, showing that world economic growth has accelerated during the twenty-first century and that rapid growth will continue.

The Sixth World KLEMS Conference

IBD Headquarters Washington DCThe Sixth World KLEMS Conference, originally scheduled for June 1-2, 2020, will be re-scheduled for the second half of the year at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C.This will be the sixth in a series of international conferences devoted to research on productivity and growth in the world economy. The Conference will discuss recent progress in the development and application of sectoral data sets on output, inputs of capital (K), labor (L), energy (E), materials (M), and services (S) for individual industries. Productivity of each industry is the ratio of output to all inputs. These data sets are now available for more than forty countries. Many countries publish these data sets annually as part of the official national accounts. World KLEMS data sets are widely used in research on economic growth and structural change. They are also employed in international comparisons based on purchasing power parities.

Harvard Hosts Fifth World KLEMS Conference

World KLEMS 2018 attendees on stairs of Wexner CommonsThe Fifth World KLEMS Conference was hosted by Samuel W. Morris University Professor Dale W. Jorgenson on June 4 and 5, 2018. The conference brought together researchers from throughout the world to discuss recent progress in the development and application of sectoral data sets on output, inputs of capital (K), labor (L), energy (E), materials (M), and services (S), and productivity or output per unit of input. These data sets are now available for more than forty countries. More than a dozen countries publish these data sets annually as part of the official national accounts, following the United Nations’ System of National Accounts 2008.

Financial support for this conference was provided by the Donald Marron Center for Economic Data at Harvard University.

The World KLEMS Initiative has been set up to promote and facilitate the analysis of growth and productivity patterns around the world, based on a growth accounting framework.  Read More . . .

Jorgenson Presents in Asia

Jorgenson Asia PosterProfessor Dale Jorgenson presented in Beijing and Tokyo his work on "The G20 and the World Economy: Performance and Prospects."

In Beijing, Jorgenson presented at Tsinghua University for the Fifth Asia KLEMS Conference. From there, Jorgenson traveled to the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) in Tokyo to present at their Brown Bag Lunch series which pairs research with dynamic policy-related debate.

A Productivity Revolution and Japan's Revitalization

Jorgenson and Abe

Presented by Professor Dale Jorgenson at the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University (Feb. 28, 2017). Listen to podcast.Veiw presentation.

Copy and paste this code to your website.
Copy and paste this code to your website.

Kotak Family Distinguished Lecture

Why Is India the Most Rapidly Growing Economy in the World? Columbia University, New York, NY, December 2, 2016. (video). See more at, March 2, 2017: "India will be world's fastest economy for the next decade."

In the News. Sept. 1, 2016

Harvard Global Institute Studies Climate Change [Harvard Gazette, Sept. 1, 2016, “With Two Years to Go, Campaign’s Impact Expands”]

Climate change poses one of the greatest threats of our time. At this critical moment, The Harvard Campaign has provided resources for the University to address this global challenge through multidisciplinary approaches.

Working under the auspices of the recently launched Harvard Global Institute, Michael McElroy, the Gilbert Butler Professor of Environmental Studies, and Dale Jorgenson, the Samuel W. Morris University Professor, began their pioneering multiyear study of climate change in China. (See full story.)

Jorgenson Awarded Honorary Doctorate at University of Valencia

Group photo of Professor Dale Jorgenson at Valencia University

On Thursday, 26 May 2016, Dale W. Jorgenson received an Honorary Degree by the Universitat de València. His mentors were Matilde Mas and Francisco Pérez, both Professors of the Universitat de València and Ivie Researchers. Francisco Pérez was in charge of reading the laudatio, which highlighted the key theoretical and empirical contributions of Jorgenson, stressing that the backdrop of many of Jorgenson’s works is a subject that generates the greatest interest in economics since its emergence as a distinct scientific field: factors which drive progress.

In his lectio, Jorgenson said that productivity and economic growth of the world economy are experiencing "a fundamental transformation", as a result of the increasing advances based on contributions by various assets, physical and human, that improve productivity, and the reduction in the weight of exogenous technical progress. Jorgenson also noted that world economic growth has accelerated during the 21st century, mainly due to the pace of emerging economies, some of which, like China, have become leading world economies. (Read More)