Beyond GDP: Classifying Alternative Measures for Progress
Both 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
Volume (Year): 109 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.springer.com|
|Order Information:||Web: 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.:
- Dietz, Simon & Neumayer, Eric, 2007.
"Weak and strong sustainability in the SEEA: Concepts and measurement,"
Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 617-626, March.
- Simon Dietz & Eric Neumayer, 2007. "Weak and strong sustainability in the SEEA: concepts and measurement," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3058, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- 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, Volume 5, Economic Growth, pages 1-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- William D. Nordhaus & James Tobin, 1971. "Is Growth Obsolete?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 319, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Amartya Sen, 2004. "Capabilities, Lists, And Public Reason: Continuing The Conversation," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 77-80.
- Ed Diener & Eunkook Suh, 1997. "Measuring Quality Of Life: Economic, Social, And Subjective Indicators," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 189-216, January.
- Alkire, Sabina, 2002. "Dimensions of Human Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 181-205, February.
- 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.
- 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.
- Runt Veenhoven, 2002. "Why Social Policy Needs Subjective Indicators," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, 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, L. & Sharpe, A., 1998. "An Index of Economic Well-being for Canada," Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive 98-08, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.
- 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: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 55(1), pages 1-96, July.
- Hamilton, Kirk, 1994. "Green adjustments to GDP," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 155-168, September.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Richard Estes, 1997. "Social Development Trends in Europe, 1970–1994: Development Prospects for the New Europe," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 1-19, September. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)