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GDP and productivity statistics viewed overlooking much of what we truly value

6 4 11
18.02.2019

At a session on ‘More than GDP’ at the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern argued what, of late, has been advocated by many leading economists that, while countries measure their economic growth, several other factors impacting quality of life go unmeasured. “We need to address the societal well-being of our nation, not just the economic well-being,” Ardern said.

Someone in China recently wrote a musical tribute ‘In the name of GDP’. Germany had a similar song in the 1980s—a satire on the consumption frenzy. A view has been gathering steam that progress is not measured merely in terms of GDP graphs, BOP tables or swelling foreign exchange, that GDP and productivity growth are important, but they are a means to an end, not ends in themselves.

Today, GDP and productivity statistics are viewed overlooking much of what we value, even when using a narrow economic lens. In a March 1968 oration, Robert F Kennedy decried idolatrous belief in GDP which, he lamented, did not capture “the beauty of our poetry or the intelligence of our public debate. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our........

© The Financial Express