It is an amazing but little-remarked fact that governments all over the world take as their top economic objective the increase of one number: gross domestic product. Philipp Lepenies traces how this strange unanimity came to be, taking the reader on a colorful journey through England, Germany, and the United States and bringing things into the present with an account of current debates about replacing or supplementing GDP with other indicators of welfare. The Power of a Single Number is beautifully written and easily accessible to anyone who wants to know more about what lies behind the world's most powerful number. - Robert H. Wade, London School of Economics.
“Anyone with good sense should want to consider Hal Scott’s thoughtful analysis of our policy response to the last financial crisis. Agree or disagree, Scott’s views deserve careful consideration in the debates over financial stability that are sure to come.” - Lawrence Summers, Harvard University
"Michel De Vroey does not simply record what he finds. He has a vision of the kind of macroeconomics he would like to see, perhaps one he developed gradually over the years he has worked on this book. What makes this book enjoyable is that he has high hopes for economics, he flatters us that we are important, and he praises the progress we have achieved. In the end he has the integrity not to hide his disappointments, his conviction that while there is no turning back, there is still a long way to go."- Robert E. Lucas, University of Chicago