ESCoE Conference on Economic Measurement 2020 (EM2020)


ESCoE Conference on Economic Measurement 2020 (EM2020)


16 September 2020 — 18 September 2020


The Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE) held its annual conference, organised in partnership with the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 16-18 September 2020. 

The conference was a meeting place for discussing recent research advances in economic measurement and statistics. The programme included papers on many aspects of the measurement and use of economic statistics, including: measurement issues associated with the COVID-19 epidemic, the productivity puzzle, the digital economy, National Accounts and ‘Beyond GDP’, regional statistics, measurement using Big Data and administrative data, international trade flows, the location of economic activity.

Slides and Recordings

EM2020 took place digitally using a virtual platform. Recordings of all sessions, as well as presentation slides where available and a number of interview recordings, can be accessed via the following archive pages:

Plenary Sessions

Panel Sessions

Contributed Sessions

Special Sessions

COVID-19 Sessions



EM2020 Plenary Sessions

16 September 2020 11:00 am

Plenary Session 1: Anna Vignoles (University of Cambridge) ‘The potential of linked administrative data to inform government policy and improve public services’

The use of administrative data to undertake policy focused research is now commonplace. In many countries, such data are routinely linked and made available to researchers, and as a consequence have been used to produce high quality and impactful research. In the UK a number of influential studies have also made use of linked administrative data to answer pressing policy questions, though access has been a major problem. The ESRC has invested in a new data centre, ADRUK, to make such data more widely available. Anna will outline the considerable benefits, for government and academics, of increasing the amount of linked administrative data made available for research. She will also discuss the challenges; political, ethical and practical, that are being tackled to ensure that administrative data is routinely available for research purposes.

17 September 2020 4:30 pm

Plenary Session II: Anil Arora (Statistics Canada) ‘Statistics Canada’s modernization journey – responding to the fast evolving data needs of the 21st Century’

The need for good-quality facts and data, in a society where there are massive changes, has never been greater. At Statistics Canada, a full-fledged modernization initiative is underway to provide even greater value to Canadians and businesses in the form of data, analytics and insights. This talk will focus on Statistics Canada’s economic program, with specific illustrations of how big data and other novel sources of data are used. It will also showcase our path towards more timely and granular statistical information and how broad topics like globalization and digitalization are addressed in an integrated system.

18 September 2020 11:00 am

Plenary Session III: John Van Reenen (London School of Economics) ‘Finding the measure of management’

How can we measure forms of intangible capital such as management practices? And if we can, how much do management practices matter for firm and macro-economic performance? John will investigate recent techniques for trying to quantify management across firms and countries using a variety of techniques and datasets in the UK and around the world.  John concludes that management matters. A lot!

Keynote Speakers

Anna Vignoles

Anil Arora

Scientific Committee Co-Chairs