A happy GDP

‘What we measure affects what we do; and if our measurements are flawed, decisions may be distorted.’

‘….. there often seems to be a marked distance between standard measures of important socio economic variables like economic growth, inflation, unemployment, etc. and widespread perceptions. The standard measures may suggest, for instance that there is less inflation or more growth than individuals perceive to be the case, and the gap is so large and so universal that it cannot be explained by reference to money illusion or to human psychology. In some countries, this gap has undermined confidence in official statistics …’

These are two citations taken from the so-called Stiglitz report dealing with the question how to get a better measurement of the progress of societies.

Stiglitz report

‘The Commission’s [The Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress”] aim has been to identify the limits of GDP as an indicator of economic performance and social progress, including the problems with its measurement; to consider what additional information might be required for the production of more relevant indicators of social progress; to assess the feasibility of alternative measurement tools, and to discuss how to present the statistical information in an appropriate way.’


End of October 2009 the OECD has launched a WIKI in order to give interested people a platform to deal with these questions. It’s called Wikiprogress for healty societies.


‘Wikiprogress is a global platform for sharing information in order to evaluate societal progress. Wikiprogress is a place to find information and statistics to facilitate the exchange of ideas, initiatives and knowledge on “measuring the progress of societies”. It is open to all members and communities for contribution– students and researchers, civil society organisations, governmental and intergovernmental organisations, multilateral institutions, businesses, statistical offices, community organisations and individuals – anyone who has an interest in the concept of “progress”.


On this topic see also this site:

Beyond GDP

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