Going Beyond GDP – But How Far?

La Lettre Du Cepii, No. 312 , June 2011

Posted: 6 Feb 2013

See all articles by Michel Fouquin

Michel Fouquin

Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Info. Internationales (CEPII)

Marc Fleurbaey

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Guillaume Gaulier

Banque de France

Date Written: June 12, 2011

Abstract

Although economists have long stressed the limitations of using GDP to evaluate standards of living, the debate was recently reignited by the publication of the Stiglitz report. In 2006, the CEPII proposed an indicator incorporating certain social data items, in terms of equivalent incomes, such as leisure time, poverty associated with unemployment, longevity and size of households; this indicator takes also account of inequalities, exhaustion of natural resources, deterioration of the environment and consumption of fixed capital. In this Letter, we propose to update this indicator and above all to extend it to cover the major emerging countries. Our calculations reveal significant corrections. Generally speaking, however, aside from the fact that the size of families is now taken into account, the various corrections applied make hardly any difference to the country rankings. Overall, the same countries still suffer from low income per inhabitant, serious inequalities, a high death rate and a lack of time devoted to leisure activities.

Keywords: well being, gross domestic product

Suggested Citation

Fouquin, Michel and Fleurbaey, Marc and Gaulier, Guillaume, Going Beyond GDP – But How Far? (June 12, 2011). La Lettre Du Cepii, No. 312 , June 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2174436

Michel Fouquin (Contact Author)

Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Info. Internationales (CEPII) ( email )

9 rue Georges Pitard
Paris Cedex 15, F-75015
France

Marc Fleurbaey

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Guillaume Gaulier

Banque de France ( email )

Paris
France

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