GDP as a Measure of Economic Welfare
Ever since the early days of National Income accounting we can observe periodic surges of demands to fix the measurement of GDP to better reflect progress, welfare or even happiness. In recent years even Presidents and Prime Ministers in Europe have joined the chorus of the discontent. In this paper I argue that the critique is mostly misguided. Welfare measurement has not been the objective of the GDP accounts especially since the late 1940s when National Accounts became a vehicle for applying Keynesian economics for, primarily, short run stabilization. I also argue that the search for a unique index of welfare, well-being, or happiness is a chimera.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2011|
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- Simon Kuznets, 1946. "Introduction to "National Income: A Summary of Findings"," NBER Chapters, in: National Income: A Summary of Findings, pages 1-2 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kuzn34-1, October.
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- Syrquin, M. & Chenery, H.B., 1989. "Patterns Of Development, 1950 To 1983," World Bank - Discussion Papers 41, World Bank.
- Simon Kuznets, 1972. "Foreword to "Economic Research: Retrospect and Prospect, Volume 7, Quantitative Economic Research: Trends and Problems"," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Research: Retrospect and Prospect, Volume 7, Quantitative Economic Research: Trends and Problems, pages -11 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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