Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, recently published “Mismeasuring our lives: why gdp doen’s add up?" May 2010. New Press


(Jaime Moreno Mateos) #1

I re-post a summary I got:

"In Februaryof 2008, amid the looming global financial crisis, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France asked Nobel Prize winning economists Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, along with the distinguished French economist Jean Paul Fitoussi, to establish a commission of leading economists to study whether Gross Domestic Product (GDP) the most widely used measure of economic activity, is a reliable indicator of economic and social progress. The Commission was given thefurther task of laying out an agenda for developing better measures.

Mismeasuring Our Lives is the result of this major intellectual effort,one with pressing relevance for anyone engaged in assessing how and whether our economy is serving the needs ofour society. The author soffer a sweeping assessment of the limits of GDP as a measurement of thewell-being of societies considering, for example, how GDP overlooks economic inequality (with the result that most people can be worse off even though average income is increasing); and does not factor environmental impacts into economic decisions.

In place of GDP, Mismeasuring Our Lives introduces a bold newarray of concepts, from sustainable measures of economic welfare, to measures of savings and wealth, to a green GDP” At a time when policymakers worldwide are grappling with unprecedented global financial and environmental issues, here is an essential guide to measuring the things that matter".

The observation is clear: we widely measure the performance of our countries and governments based on GDP and even condition other factors to a prestablished GDP growth, but... is GPD really measuring the things that matters? After many years using GDP, aren't we able to develop new ways of measuring more accurately what we really care? I eager to start reading this book. Meanwhile I recomend another document deeply related about the development of a new composed multidimensional index for measuring the Human Development, included in the last HD report 2010:

Español http://hdr.undp.org/es/estadisticas/ipm/

English http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/mpi/