Beyond GDP: Measuring and achieving global genuine progress

| July 3, 2013 | Leave a Comment

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Author(s): Ida Kubiszewski, Robert Costanza, Carol Franco, Philip Lawn, John Talberth, Tim Jackson, Camille Aylmer


The GPI or Genuine Progress Index, was developed by green economists, for green economists. The idea is to take the gross product (GDP) and alter it to more realistically allow for externalities to create a net product.
This is an academic paper focused on studying and generating global genuine progress. It’s quite the lofty goal and the authors seem to know this. Anyway, here’s what they say:

“While global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has increased more than three-fold since 1950, economic welfare, as stimated by the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), has actually decreased since 1978. We synthesized estimates of GPI over the 1950–2003 time period for 17 countries for which GPI has been estimated. These 17 countries contain 53% of the global population and 59% of the global GDP. We compared GPI with Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Human Development Index (HDI), Ecological Footprint, Biocapacity, Gini coefficient, and Life satisfaction scores. Results show a significant variation among these countries, but some major trends… Development policies need to shift to better account for real welfare and not merely GDP growth.”

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