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Evaluating Alternatives to GDP as Measures of Social Welfare and Progress. WWWforEurope Working Paper No. 56

Jeroen van den Bergh and Miklós Antal
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Miklós Antal: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

in WIFO Studies from WIFO

Abstract: Proposed alternatives to GDP as a measure of social welfare or human progress are briefly evaluated. Four main categories are considered: ISEW and GPI based on corrections of GDP, sustainable or green(ed) GDP, genuine savings or investments and composite indexes. All these alternatives turn out to suffer from various shortcomings. Nevertheless, several of them represent a considerable improvement over GDP information in approximating social welfare. This gives support to the idea that we should not wait to give less importance and attention to GDP (per capita) information in public decision making until a perfect alternative indicator is available.

Date: 2014 Written 2014-03-26
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