‘GNP measures everything except that which makes life worthwhile’ RFK

It is frequently concluded that GDP is the most consummate indicator there is for measuring standard of living.  It is the simplest to calculate and the most internationally recognised form of  gauging our economic well being.  We realise the limitations of this measure such as income distribution and negative externatilities and have therefore developed alternative indicators that give a more reflective measure of well being such as the HDI.  Compared with GDP, HDI is more informative, and it is interesting reading to note the top 10 economies of each. However, even though this index builds on the GDP indicator its omissions (eg gender equality) are amongst its evaluation points.  Economics is striving to build on existing models that reflect a more realistic view of the world so that, ultimately social and economic welfare can be maximised through policy.  The HDI is a start but before real progress can be made indicators must begin to fully take into account what ‘really makes life worthwhile’.  Before you read the links or watch the video make a list the five most important variables that make your life ‘worthwhile’.

happy planet          gnh



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