Beyond GDP: Methodological and measurement issues in redefining “wealth”
In the last decades; a growing stock of literature has been devoted to the criticism of GDP as an indicator of societal wealth. A relevant question is: what are the perspectives to build, on the existing knowledge and consensus, alternative measures of prosperity? A starting point may be to connect well-being research agenda with the sustainability one. However, there is no doubt that there is a lot of complexity and fuzziness inherent in multidimensional concepts such as sustainability and well-being. This article analyses the theoretical foundations and the empirical validity of some multidimensional technical tools that can be used for well-being evaluation and assessment. Of course one should not forget that policy conclusions derived through any mathematical model depend also on the conceptual framework used, i.e. which representation of reality (and thus which societal values and interests) has been considered.
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