Towards Overcoming the Limitation of GDP in the Digital Economy: Lessons from the Uk’s Endeavor and Other Recent Studies

(Pages: 01-10)

Kuniko Moriya1,*, Yuji Tou2, Chihiro Watanabe3,4 and Pekka Neittaanmäki5

1Research and Statistics Department, Bank of Japan, Tokyo, Japan.
2Dept. of Ind. Engineering & Magm., Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan.
3Faculty of Information Technology, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
4International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria.
5Faculty of Information Technology, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.


Recent development of digital economy has brought discussions on its measure: What activities are emerged in the digital economy? What are produced by those activities? What amount are they? Whether activities emerged by the recent development digital economy are covered by the GDP? Those questions are raised throughout the world — among national statistical offices, academics, analysts, and other people or organizations concerned.

This paper reviews recent challenges to capture the digital economy such as by statistical offices. Firstly, it focuses on noteworthy challenges by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which is currently working on assessing the feasibility of developing statistics on the sharing economy, and then looks into issues of “free” products, challenged by other researchers.

Learning from the challenges on measuring the sharing economy by the ONS and the attempts on capturing “free” products by others, this paper considers conceptual framework, such as scope of digital economy, activities emerged and those classifications. Relationship between those activities and the current GDP framework are also discussed. Further, practical ideas to capture the digital economy are suggested. 


Digital economy, limitation of GDP, statistical offices, sharing economy, UK’s endeavor.