Colin Grant Clark (2 November 1905 - 4 September 1989) was a British and Australian economist and statistician who worked in both the United Kingdom and Australia. He pioneered the use of gross national product (GNP) as the basis for studying national economies.
At Cambridge, he was a lecturer in Statistics from 1931 to 1938. There he also completed three books: The National Income 1924-31 (1932), The Economic Position of Great Britain (jointly with A. C. Pigou) (1936) and National Income and Outlay (1937). His first book was sent to the publisher Daniel Macmillan with a recommendation from John Maynard Keynes: "[...] Clark is, I think, a bit of a genius: almost the only economic statistician I have ever met who seems to me quite first-class."
During a visit to Australia and New Zealand in 1937 and 1938 he accepted a position with the Queensland Government at the invitation of the premier Forgan Smith. At the time he wrote to Keynes about his decision to stay in Australia. As he put it, the chance to advise the Queensland Premier on 'practically everything connected with economic matters' was 'too remarkable an opportunity to be missed for putting economics into practice'
On 6 May 1938, he was appointed Government Statistician, Director of the Bureau of Industry, and Financial Advisor to the Queensland Treasury, and provided the State's first set of economic accounts in 1940. He also held the position of Deputy Director (Queensland) of the Commonwealth Department of War Organisation of Industry from 1942 to 1946. Clark resigned as Government Statistician on 28 February 1947 to become Under Secretary of the Queensland Department of Labour and Industry.
Unusually for a public servant he continued his academic work, publishing numerous articles on economics and preparing his book Conditions of Economic Progress which was published in 1940.
He was on the Council of the Econometric Society from 1948 to 1952.
Clark married Marjorie Tattersall in 1935; they had eight sons and one daughter, who in turned produced a total of 50 grandchildren. His son Gregory became an author and academic in Japan. His nephew is the cognitive psychologist and computer scientist Geoffrey Hinton.
Marjorie's sister Viva Tattersall was a stage actress and Hollywood movie star.
"Theory of Economic Growth", Econometrica, Vol. 17, Supplement: Report of the Washington Meeting (July 1949), pp. 112-116
"The Measurement of National Wealth: Discussion", (with Milton Gilbert; J. R. N. Stone; Francois Perroux; D. K. Lieu; Evelpides; Francois Divisia; Tinbergen; Kuznets; Smithies; Shirras; MacGregor), Econometrica, Vol. 17, Supplement: Report of the Washington Meeting. (July 1949), pp. 255-272
"A Critique of Russian Statistics by Colin Clark", Economica, May 1941, NS 8, p. 212.