Podcast

Rethinking Wealth: The case for moving beyond GDP

For decades, GDP has been a defining indicator of the strength of countries’ economies. However, GDP only reflects the size of an economy; it does not account for factors that are central to well-being, such as income distribution, gender equality, or environmental health.  
By Jessica Templeton on August 12, 2022

For decades, GDP has been a defining indicator of the strength of countries’ economies. However, GDP only reflects the size of an economy; it does not account for factors that are central to well-being, such as income distribution, gender equality, or environmental health.  

As the pace of environmental degradation increases, exacerbating inequality and other economically and socially harmful trends, social scientists are arguing that we need to rethink both our understanding of wealth and the tools we use to measure it. By moving beyond GDP to a more comprehensive understanding of wealthone that includes, for example, public goods such as clean air and waterwe will have a more informed and accurate basis for assessing our current and expected future well-being.  

In this podcast, IISD’s Jessica Templeton speaks with experts from around the world who are calling on governments to move beyond GDP as a core measure of economic well-being. Guests include Pali Lehohla (Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, United Kingdom, and former Statistician-General, South Africa), Clara Martinez-Toledano (Imperial College London, United Kingdom), Anne-Marie McGauran (National Economic and Social Council, Ireland), Hugo Ñopo (IEZ Institute of Labor Economics, Brazil), and Dimitri Zenghelis (Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, United Kingdom). 

This podcast is a collaboration between Global Affairs Canada and IISD.