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Beyond the Fetish of Economic Growth: Measuring Sustainable Economic Welfare in Chile

Simon Accorsi O. (), Ramon Lopez, Maite Azua and Valentina Vergara

Working Papers from University of Chile, Department of Economics

Abstract: This article presents a calculation of the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW) for the Chilean case (2000-2018). Because of their solid theoretical foundations, we argue that the ISEW is a much more correct and accurate measure of development than Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In the Chilean case, the key explanatory variable in well-being is the economic rent associated with the depletion of its non-renewable natural resources, but we also highlight the need to make visible the Unpaid Domestic and Care Work (UDCW), which represents the biggest sector of the Chilean economy, when its properly measure. We emphasize the need for a more comprehensive and broader view of the development process and its meaning, according to the guidelines that the ISEW can deliver and its foundations. We finally pointed out to the need to systematize and institutionalize the construction of this indicator in order to make it understandable and legitimate for citizens. In this way, the ISEW can serve as input for the discussion about the direction of our development process.

Pages: 21 pages
Date: 2022-01
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