Department

Economics

Publication Year

2006

Abstract

The last few decades have seen a growing dissatisfaction with the traditional measure of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Originators of the measure wanted a way to estimate outputs for the purpose of measuring economic growth and formulating fiscal policy, in more recent years the GDP measure has also been interpreted as a measure of the standard of living. This kind of interpretation gives testament to the growing desire of economists and all social scientists to measure not only monetary wealth and income flow, but also social well-being. The aim of this paper is thus to evaluate the major shortcomings of GDP as an indicator of human welfare, as well as to inquire into which of the alternative measures of GDP gives the most comprehensive and valid reading of cross-national well-being.

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