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Alternative Wohlstandsmessung: neun Indikatoren können das Bruttoinlandsprodukt ergänzen und relativieren

Author

Listed:
  • Marco Giesselmann
  • Richard Hilmer
  • Nico A. Siegel
  • Gert G. Wagner

Abstract

Numerous people in Germany, including politicians and researchers, believe that the gross domestic product (GDP) is an outdated indicator of a society's prosperity. Therefore, at the end of 2010, the German Bundestag, the federal parliament, established a study commission (Enquete-Kommission) tasked with developing an alternative to the GDP for measuring growth, prosperity, and quality of life. This commission has now submitted a proposal: to supplement the GDP with nine additional indicators, including a wide range of factors such as the distribution of income, biodiversity, and life expectancy. Replacing the gross domestic product by a single alternative index was rejected by the commission, however, since it is not possible to reduce citizens' very different wishes and expectations to "a common denominator." A representative survey of registered voters conducted by DIW Berlin and TNS Infratest shows that citizens consider the indicators proposed by the commission to be important. Respondents ranked preserving "democracy and freedom" as the most relevant indicator and "further increasing life expectancy" as the least relevant. The average per capita income - as an indicator of the gross domestic product - is the second least relevant factor as far as registered voters in Germany are concerned. However, the study also shows that opinions on the importance of different indicators vary widely. Moreover, there are systematic differences in the relevance of various policy areas for different social groups. Zahlreiche Menschen, Politiker und Wissenschaftler in Deutschland glauben, dass das "Bruttoinlandsprodukt", kurz BIP, als Maßzahl für gesellschaftlichen Wohlstand überholt sei. Deshalb hat der Deutsche Bundestag Ende 2010 eine Studien-Kommission ("Enquete- Kommission") eingerichtet, die den Auftrag hat, mit Blick auf die Messung von Wachstum, Wohlstand und Lebensqualität eine Alternative zum BIP zu entwickeln. Diese Kommission hat nun einen Vorschlag unterbreitet: Das BIP soll ergänzt werden. Und zwar um neun weitere Indikatoren, die so unterschiedliche Aspekte wie die Einkommensverteilung, Artenvielfalt und Lebenserwartung umfassen. Eine einzige zum Bruttoinlandsprodukt alternative Maßzahl wird von der Kommission hingegen abgelehnt, da sie die unterschiedlichsten Wünsche und Vorstellungen der Bürgerinnen und Bürger nicht "auf einen Nenner" bringen könnte. Dass die Bürgerinnen und Bürger die von der Kommission vorgeschlagenen Indikatoren als wichtig ansehen, zeigt eine repräsentative Befragung der Wahlberechtigten durch das DIW Berlin und TNS Infratest. An der Spitze der Relevanz steht nach Ansicht der Befragten der Erhalt von "Demokratie und Freiheit", am Ende eine "weitere Steigerung der Lebenserwartung". Das durchschnittliche Pro-Kopf-Einkommen - als Indikator für das Bruttoinlandsprodukt - liegt aus der Perspektive der wahlberechtigten Bürger in Deutschland an vorletzter Stelle der Relevanz. Die Studie zeigt aber auch: Die Einschätzung der Wichtigkeit einzelner Indikatoren streut stark. Hinzu kommen systematische Unterschiede in der Relevanz von Politikbereichen bei verschiedenen sozialen Gruppen.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Giesselmann & Richard Hilmer & Nico A. Siegel & Gert G. Wagner, 2013. "Alternative Wohlstandsmessung: neun Indikatoren können das Bruttoinlandsprodukt ergänzen und relativieren," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 80(9), pages 3-12.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwob:80-9-1
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    Cited by:

    1. Gert G. Wagner, 2016. "Methodenmix hilft beim Finden und Auswählen von sozialen Indikatoren: Anmerkungen zur Methodik des Regierungsprojektes "Gut leben in Deutschland"," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 874, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. Tomáš Hák & Svatava Janoušková & Alistair Whitby & Saamah Abdallah & Jan Kovanda, 2015. "Indicator Policy Factsheets: A Knowledge Brokerage Tool," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(3), pages 1-16, March.
    3. Gert G. Wagner, 2016. "Methodenmix hilft beim finden und auswählen von sozialen Indikatoren - Anmerkungen zur Methodik des Projektes "Gut leben in Deutschland"," Working Paper Series of the German Council for Social and Economic Data 260, German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    GDP; GDP and beyond; quality of life; Germany; SOEP;

    JEL classification:

    • B59 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Other
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • Z18 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Public Policy

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