Beyond GDP: Classifying Alternative Measures for Progress
AbstractBoth the potential pitfalls of macro-economic policies focused on stimulating economic growth and the problems involved in using GDP as a measure of well-being or economic welfare have long been recognized by economists and researchers from other social sciences. Therefore, it is no surprise that alternative measures for policy-making have been developed and promoted since the early 1970s. Over the past 5 years, the development of these measures has gained momentum both politically and academically. However, most research efforts concentrate on the development and promotion of individual indicators, while paying less attention to the wide range of indicators already available and to theoretical insights. As a result, few classification schemes of alternative measures exist today to help policy-makers in selecting a proper set of indicators. This paper first looks into the different classification schemes available in the literature and outlines the weaknesses in each of these. Afterwards, an alternative classification scheme is introduced that draws on the notions of well-being, economic welfare and sustainability. A further sub-categorization is built on the different approaches that are used to quantitatively capture the notions. By focusing on the underlying concepts that the different measures aim to quantify, the alternative classification scheme overcomes the drawbacks of the existing schemes. Finally, 23 alternative measures for policy-making are reviewed and organized into the newly developed classification scheme. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Springer in its journal Social Indicators Research.
Volume (Year): 109 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/11135
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Runt Veenhoven, 2002.
"Why Social Policy Needs Subjective Indicators,"
Social Indicators Research,
Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 33-46, June.
- Veenhoven, Ruut, 2001. "Why social policy needs subjective indicators," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Social Structure and Social Reporting FS III 01-404, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
- Avner Offer, 2000. "Economic Welfare Measurements and Human Well-Being," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _034, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
- Osberg, Lars & Sharpe, Andrew, 2002. "An Index of Economic Well-Being for Selected OECD Countries," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(3), pages 291-316, September.
- William D. Nordhaus & James Tobin, 1971.
"Is Growth Obsolete?,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
319, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- William D. Nordhaus & James Tobin, 1973. "Is Growth Obsolete?," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Economic and Social Performance, pages 509-564 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- William D. Nordhaus & James Tobin, 1972. "Is Growth Obsolete?," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Research: Retrospect and Prospect Vol 5: Economic Growth, pages 1-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ekins, Paul & Simon, Sandrine & Deutsch, Lisa & Folke, Carl & De Groot, Rudolf, 2003. "A framework for the practical application of the concepts of critical natural capital and strong sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2-3), pages 165-185, March.
- Lawn, Philip A., 2003. "A theoretical foundation to support the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW), Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), and other related indexes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 105-118, February.
- Ed Diener & Eunkook Suh, 1997. "Measuring Quality Of Life: Economic, Social, And Subjective Indicators," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 189-216, January.
- Amartya Sen, 2004. "Capabilities, Lists, And Public Reason: Continuing The Conversation," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 77-80.
- Ekins, Paul & Simon, Sandrine, 2003. "An illustrative application of the CRITINC framework to the UK," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2-3), pages 255-275, March.
- Dietz, Simon & Neumayer, Eric, 2007. "Weak and strong sustainability in the SEEA: Concepts and measurement," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 617-626, March.
- Van de Kerk, Geurt & Manuel, Arthur R., 2008. "A comprehensive index for a sustainable society: The SSI -- the Sustainable Society Index," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2-3), pages 228-242, June.
- Hamilton, Kirk, 1994. "Green adjustments to GDP," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 155-168, September.
- Michael Hagerty & Robert Cummins & Abbott Ferriss & Kenneth Land & Alex Michalos & Mark Peterson & Andrew Sharpe & Joseph Sirgy & Joachim Vogel, 2001. "Quality of Life Indexes for National Policy: Review and Agenda for Research," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 55(1), pages 1-96, July.
- Alkire, Sabina, 2002. "Dimensions of Human Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 181-205, February.
- Richard Estes, 1997. "Social Development Trends in Europe, 1970–1994: Development Prospects for the New Europe," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 1-19, September.
- Brent Bleys, 2013. "The Regional Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare for Flanders, Belgium," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(2), pages 496-523, February.
- Martin Binder, 2013. "Subjective Well-being Capabilities: Bridging the Gap between the Capability Approach and Subjective Well-Being Research," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2013-02, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.