National well-being and environmental indicators in place of conventional (e.g., GDP) indicators

This solution was shared by PRE-LAUNCH RESEARCH TEAM
14 May 2021

Description of the innovative solution

Finance

With environmental and social issues growing, there have been many calls for transforming our socio-economic policies and our paradigms around performance indicators such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP). By measuring a country's economic activity, GDP is purportedly an indicator of a society’s standard of living. Yet it has been critiqued for not only failing to measure the economy well, but further, for failing to account for and being mistaken as accounting for well-being, equality and equity, and sustainability. Activities conducted outside of the market - for example, increasing...

With environmental and social issues growing, there have been many calls for transforming our socio-economic policies and our paradigms around performance indicators such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP). By measuring a country's economic activity, GDP is purportedly an indicator of a society’s standard of living. Yet it has been critiqued for not only failing to measure the economy well, but further, for failing to account for and being mistaken as accounting for well-being, equality and equity, and sustainability. Activities conducted outside of the market - for example, increasing agrobiodiversity, improvements in sustainable technologies, or the positive/negative value that society may place on socioecological and sociocultural developments are not included in GDP's calculation. The range of "Beyond GDP indicators" that has been proposed is large, and no universal framework has emerged, but most point to environmental/sustainability indicators and well-being/social indicators, instead-of or at least in-addition-to measurements of traditional economic growth indicators. Examples of variables included in these indicators would be environmental quality, health, education, leisure, standard of living, inequality, civic engagement, and safety, and other variables not measured by traditional indicators. These indicators can be a synthetic aggregate of multiple variables, or the variables can be kept separate. Some prominent frameworks have emerged, such as Gross National Happiness (GNP), the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and Human Development Index (HDI).

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Beyond GDP and Businesses' Social and Environmental Indicators
Scientific paper
A paper discussing Beyond GDP and Businesses' Social/Environmental Indicators, and frameworks for linking between the micro/macro.
Shared by PRE-LAUNCH RESEARCH TEAM

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