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Beyond GDP: Methodological and measurement issues in redefining “wealth”

  • Giuseppe Munda

    (Departament d'Economia i d'Història Econòmica, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

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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Paper provided by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica in its series UHE Working papers with number 2012_09.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aub:uhewps:2012_09
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  1. Laurens Cherchye & Knox Lovell & Wim Moesen & Tom Van Puyenbroeck, 2005. "One Market, One Number? A Composite Indicator Assessment of EU Internal Market Dynamics," Public Economics Working Paper Series ces0513, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics.
  2. Banerjee, Anindya & Marcellino, Massimiliano & Masten, Igor, 2003. "Leading Indicators for Euro Area Inflation and GDP Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3893, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Cribari-Neto, Francisco & Jensen, Mark J. & Novo, lvaro A., 1999. "Research In Econometric Theory: Quantitative And Qualitative Productivity Rankings," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(05), pages 719-752, October.
  4. Graciela Chichilnisky, 1996. "An axiomatic approach to sustainable development," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 231-257, April.
  5. Laurens Cherchye & Wim Moesen & Tom Van Puyenbroeck, 2003. "Legitimately Diverse, yet Comparable: On Synthesising Social Inclusion Performance in the EU," Public Economics Working Paper Series ces0301, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics.
  6. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1997. "Invaluable Goods," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 757-765, June.
  7. Bouyssou, Denis, 1986. "Some remarks on the notion of compensation in MCDM," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 150-160, July.
  8. Kenneth J. Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Lawrence H. Goulder & Kevin J. Mumford & Kirsten Oleson, 2010. "Sustainability and the Measurement of Wealth," NBER Working Papers 16599, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Giles Atkinson & Kirk Hamilton, 2007. "Progress along the path: evolving issues in the measurement of genuine saving," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 43-61, May.
  10. Barthelemy, J. P. & Guenoche, A. & Hudry, O., 1989. "Median linear orders: Heuristics and a branch and bound algorithm," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 313-325, October.
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