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Rethinking What Counts. Perspectives on Wellbeing and Genuine Progress Indicator Metrics from a Canadian Viewpoint

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  • Jeffrey Wilson

    () (School for Resource and Environmental Studies, Faculty of Management, Dalhousie University, 6100 University Ave., Suite 5010, PO Box 15000, Halifax, NS, B3H 4R2, Canada
    College of Sustainability, Dalhousie University, 1459 LeMarchant St., PO Box 15000, Halifax, NS, B3H 4R2, Canada)

  • Peter Tyedmers

    (School for Resource and Environmental Studies, Faculty of Management, Dalhousie University, 6100 University Ave., Suite 5010, PO Box 15000, Halifax, NS, B3H 4R2, Canada
    College of Sustainability, Dalhousie University, 1459 LeMarchant St., PO Box 15000, Halifax, NS, B3H 4R2, Canada)

Abstract

A prevailing undercurrent of doubt regarding the merits of economic growth has motivated efforts to rethink how we measure the success of economic policy and societal wellbeing. This article comments on efforts to better account for impacts of economic activity emphasizing genuine progress indicator (GPI) and wellbeing metrics from a Canadian viewpoint. The authors caution that GPI and related metrics are measures of human and social welfare and not adequate to account for the ecological costs associated with economic growth. In addition, the article discusses the suitability of wellbeing models and metrics for local scale applications, recognizing growing interest in these techniques at the urban and local level. The article concludes with a reflection on the uptake of GPI and wellbeing measures highlighting the Canadian experience.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey Wilson & Peter Tyedmers, 2013. "Rethinking What Counts. Perspectives on Wellbeing and Genuine Progress Indicator Metrics from a Canadian Viewpoint," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(1), pages 1-16, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:5:y:2013:i:1:p:187-202:d:22781
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Jean-Michel Salles, 2011. "Valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services: why linking economic values with Nature?," Working Papers 11-24, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Dec 2011.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Myrna Leticia Bravo-Olivas & Rosa María Chávez-Dagostino & Christopher D. Malcolm & Rodrigo Espinoza-Sánchez, 2015. "Notes on the Quality of Life of Artisanal Small-Scale Fishermen along the Pacific Coast of Jalisco, México," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(5), pages 1-23, May.
    2. Anders Hayden & Jeffrey Wilson, 2016. "Is It What You Measure That Really Matters? The Struggle to Move beyond GDP in Canada," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(7), pages 1-18, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    genuine progress indicators; sustainability indicators; wellbeing; community; economic growth;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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