Must-read: Mark Thoma: “Why GDP Fails as a Measure of Well-Being”

Must-Read: Mark Thoma: Why GDP Fails as a Measure of Well-Being: “Catherine Rampell provides a nice summary of the alternative measures that have been proposed…

…However, none of these alternatives deal with the main problem… how to measure the full impact of technology on our lives…. GDP assigns a zero value to goods with a zero price, but those goods aren’t valued at zero and as they become more prominent, we’ll need to find a way of including the benefits they provide in our measures of the standard of living…. When you hear that your standard of living has gone up, ask yourself what has happened to leisure time?… How much of technology’s benefits might have been missed–how often do you use Wikipedia? And how was the additional GDP distributed across the population–did it mostly go to the 1 percent?…

January 28, 2016


Brad DeLong
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