Monday, September 14, 2009

France To Use Happiness As Economic Indicator

"French President Nicolas Sarkozy has asked world leaders to join a 'revolution' in the measurement of economic progress by dropping their obsession with gross domestic product to account for factors such as health-care availability and leisure time."

From the Huffington Post.

1 comment:

Kevin Denny said...

First things first, GDP is a measure of productivity. GNP [per capita] is a measure of living standard. OK they are usually very close except for weird economies [like Ireland]. We all know [we who have economics degrees, that is] the limitations of such measures. So what about these broader measures? Well they are well meant but it is hard to get away from the fact that they are so arbitrary. Rather like these indices of "freedom" that one sees quoted. So GNP gives a precise measure to a well defined question. But not an interesting question, the critics say. Maybe, but I would prefer to have well measured estimates of the components like GNP, inequality, health outcomes etc and then let people argue about what society's priorities should be rather than some psuedo-scientific index which glosses over these issues and "rolls the universe into a ball".
I think Sarkozy should stick to what he is good at: being short,marrying supermodels etc