Social and welfare issues

Beyond GDP

Measuring What Counts for Economic and Social Performance

Published on November 27, 2018

book

Metrics matter for policy and policy matters for well-being. In this report, the co-chairs of the OECD-hosted High Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, Joseph E. Stiglitz, Jean-Paul Fitoussi and Martine Durand, show how over-reliance on GDP as the yardstick of economic performance misled policy makers who did not see the 2008 crisis coming. When the crisis did hit, concentrating on the wrong indicators meant that governments made inadequate policy choices, with severe and long-lasting consequences for many people. While GDP is the most well-known, and most powerful economic indicator, it can’t tell us everything we need to know about the health of countries and societies. In fact, it can’t even tell us everything we need to know about economic performance. We need to develop dashboards of indicators that reveal who is benefitting from growth, whether that growth is environmentally sustainable, how people feel about their lives, what factors contribute to an individual’s or a country’s success. This book looks at progress made over the past 10 years in collecting well-being data, and in using them to inform policies. An accompanying volume, For Good Measure: Advancing Research on Well-being Metrics Beyond GDP, presents the latest findings from leading economists and statisticians on selected issues within the broader agenda on defining and measuring well-being.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preface
Foreword
Executive Summary
The continued importance of the “Beyond GDP” Agenda
The measurement of economic downturns
The need to follow up on the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Commission
Country-experiences with using well-being indicators to steer policies
Twelve recommendations on the way ahead in measuring well-being
Taking stock of progress in the “Beyond GDP” measurement agenda since the 2009 Commission report
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