Moving Beyond GDP: The Case for Wealth as a Core Measure of National Progress
For more than 70 years, GDP has been the most frequently cited and influential indicator of national progress. Yet GDP narrowly focuses on short-term economic growth while ignoring the costs of this growth, including environmental degradation, loss of societal trust, mounting debt, and growing inequality. Decision-making focused on GDP is biased toward short-term economic benefits, overly concerned about what happens in the market economy, and not concerned enough about the consequences of economic growth on other determinants of well-being—especially the environment and community.
But measuring wealth in the broad sense—considering human, natural, social, produced, and financial capital—would give countries new and important insights into the sustainability of their policies.
This seminar will explore the case for wealth as a core measure of national progress. Discussion will focus on the shortcomings of GDP, the benefits of using expanded wealth measures to guide decision-making, and the steps necessary for countries to embrace this new approach to ensure the sustainability of development.
Moderator: Dominique Charron, Vice-President, Programs and Partnerships (International Development Research Centre, IDRC)
- Njuguna Ndung’u, Executive Director, African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
- Jim Cust, Senior Economist, Office of the Chief Economist (Africa Region) - World Bank
- Kevin Urama, Acting Chief Economist and Vice President for the Economic Governance and Knowledge Management Complex, African Development Bank
- Jane Mariara, Executive Director, Partnership for Economic Policy
- Lebohang Liepollo Pheko, Senior Research Fellow at Trade Collective & Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) Ambassador
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