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How to articulate beyond GDP and businesses’ social and environmental indicators?

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  • Olivier E. Malay

    (IRES & Hoover Chair of Economic and Social Ethics, University of Louvain (UCLouvain))

Abstract

In the past decades, new indicators have been developed to provide alternatives to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at the macro level, and to financial indicators at the business level (businesses’ social and environmental indicators). However, these new indicators are poorly articulated between the business and the macro level. This paper aims to discuss the different possibilities of articulation that exist and outline a framework for a better micro-macro articulation. Firstly, we draw from the example of GDP and traditional business indicators by analysing the way they are articulated. Secondly, we review how sets of alternative indicators aim to articulate the macro and micro level by analysing indicators constructed around Gross National Happiness (GNH) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This research shows that two specific types of articulation exist between indicators at different levels, one referred to as the ‘accounting’ type and the other called the ‘conceptual’ type. Their strengths and limits will be discussed, as well as how they can be combined. Finally, recommendations will be provided on how to best articulate beyond GDP and business level indicators.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier E. Malay, 2020. "How to articulate beyond GDP and businesses’ social and environmental indicators?," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2020014, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2020014
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    File URL: https://sites.uclouvain.be/econ/DP/IRES/2020014.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Olivier E. Malay, 2020. "Improving government and business coordination through the use of consistent SDGs indicators. A comparative analysis of national (Belgian) and business (pharma and retail) sustainability indicators," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2020031, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), revised 27 Oct 2020.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sustainability indicators; Beyond GDP indicators; Business indicators; Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); Micro macro articulation; Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); Gross National Happiness (GNH);
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • 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

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