HDI was invented in 1990 as an antidote to the GDP-based conception of development. It was considered progressive for its time, but it is clear now that it did not go quite far enough. Nearly 30 years on, it’s time for a better measure – one that will aid rather than hinder us in our efforts to build a more ecological model of development.
Public health is an alternative indicator of well-being and is strongly correlated to levels of equality or inequality. Greater equality means greater well-being for everyone and a smaller need for the state – yet inequality has been increasing dramatically.
Noel on putting new economy ideas and principles into practice, a new model for Econ 101, and more.
The realization is gradually spreading that GDP growth can’t continue forever. This reality is causing societal angst and discomfort.
In economics as in other professions, it takes vision and courage to break with consensus practice.
Growth itself isn’t the problem, it’s what’s growing and how prosperity is measured.
My question was: if GDP has so many flaws and numerous attempts were made at finding ‘better’ numbers, then why are we are still using GDP? Is it possible that there are specific interests supporting the nexus between GDP and policymaking? What are the political dimensions of this almighty number? So I set out to do my research on the history of GDP and realized that this story needed to be told. The story of GDP is the story of how we built the type of society we live in. It is the story of how economics took over all other sciences to become the servant of power.