A summary of ISEW and GPI studies at multiple scales and new estimates for Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and the State of Maryland
This paper (1) summarizes a number of previous Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW) and Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) studies at various scales; (2) estimates the GPI for Baltimore, Baltimore County, and the State of Maryland; and (3) compares these results with previous and parallel studies. GPI incorporates environmental, social, and economic information into a single metric to represent economic well-being. At all three scales, GPI was found to grow at a slower rate than the conventional economic measure of gross domestic product (GDP), while at the US national scale GPI has been relatively flat since 1975. State-level results match an independently calculated Maryland GPI, confirming that GPI methods are robust and reproducible. In addition, the State of Maryland has recently made GPI one of their official State statistics, reported annually. State-level GPI results were also compared with studies for the states of Ohio and Vermont to explore regional differences. We recommend that the GPI research community develop consensus on a standardized measurement approach and seek common ground for advancing the use of improved indicators and accounting systems in official policy settings.
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