Beyond GDP

Can the cornerstone of post-world-war recovery cope with the complexities of today’s world?

 

In recent years a debate has gained momentum around the development of a new type of indicator to measure progress, one that is as clear and understandable as GDP but that also incorporates the currently unmeasured environmental, social and human costs and benefits of economic activity.

 

The debate raises many questions: What do we as individuals and societies want out of our economies? Is the purpose of a national economy simply the aggregation of monetary wealth? What about our well-being and prosperity, our health and ideals? How can issues such as poverty, resource depletion, the state of natural resources or ecological conditions be considered when measuring the true advancement of a nation?

 

Download your digital copy from IHDP

Mail Online

 

The country's wealth should not be measured solely by money - but also include birdsong and lollipops, the UN has claimed.

 

Governments should look beyond profits and economic growth and take into account benefits which are less easy to measure, the global body said.

 

Trees, a good night’s sleep, and being able to wash clothes in a washing machine should be used alongside traditional GDP measures, Professor Anantha Duraiappah said.