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Economics (3rd edition): Making sense of the Modern Economy by Saugato Datta

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1 Debates about the basics

Maddison counting

A long, passionate affair with numbers has finally come to an end

ANGUS MADDISON, who died on April 24th 2010 at the age of 83, described himself as a chiffrephile – a lover of figures. Like many men, he had his first serious crush at the age of 13. He read “How to Pay for the War”, by John Maynard Keynes; it was the annex on national income that most tickled his fancy. For the next 70 years he pursued ever more elusive numbers, estimating GDP for a growing range of countries over a lengthening span of time. In 1995 he published GDP estimates for 56 countries as far back as 1820. In 2001 his romantic adventures culminated in an estimate for world output in the year 1AD: $105.4 billion at 1990 prices. ...

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