On the Report by the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress (2009)
The Commission’s aim was to ascertain the limits of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as an indicator of economic performance and social progress, and to propose more appropriate indicators. Within a short period of time, a considerable amount of work was generated and a very interesting report was produced. This document reviews the main ideas and proposals which have been put forward and discussed during the last forty years in relation to problems such as the measurement of growth, development, well-being, and environment. They also concern, in more recent formulations, sustainable development and the general progress of society. As might have been expected, no new world-shattering idea was presented by the Commission. It mainly attempted to organize the present materials and to identify tools that are available or can be developed according to the different goals that are pursued. By assessing their relevance, the Commission could issue recommendations on paths to be primarily followed so as to improve our general knowledge. In so doing, many useful clarifications have been achieved, even if the clarification effort was not always sufficient in my opinion.
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