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

Olivier E. Malay ()
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Olivier E. Malay: IRES & Hoover Chair of Economic and Social Ethics, University of Louvain (UCLouvain)

No 2020014, Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) from Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)

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.

Keywords: Sustainability indicators; Beyond GDP indicators; Business indicators; Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); Micro macro articulation; Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Gross National Happiness (GNH) (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E0 M41 N10 N40 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-04-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-acc, nep-env, nep-hap, nep-pke and nep-sbm
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ctl:louvir:2020014

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