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Mismeasuring Our Lives is the result of this major intellectual effort, one with pressing relevance for anyone engaged in assessing how and whether our economy is serving the needs of our society. The authors offer a sweeping assessment of the limits of GDP as a measurement of the well-being of societies—considering, for example, how GDP overlooks economic inequality (with the result that most people can be worse off even though average income is increasing); and does not factor environmental impacts into economic decisions.
In place of GDP, Mismeasuring Our Lives introduces a bold new array of concepts, from sustainable measures of economic welfare, to measures of savings and wealth, to a “green GDP.” At a time when policymakers worldwide are grappling with unprecedented global financial and environmental issues, here is an essential guide to measuring the things that matter.
Other Members of the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress and Rapporteurs vi
Foreword Nicolas Sarkozy vii
Preface Joseph E. Stiglitz Amartya Sen Jean-Paul Fitoussi xvii
Executive Summary 1
1 Classical GDP Issues 23
2 Quality of Life 61
3 Sustainable Development and Environment 97