👓 Special measures: well-being | Economist Espresso

Read Special measures: well-being (Economist Espresso)
How should society’s progress be measured? GDP tends to be used as a proxy. But its imperfections are widely known: it focuses on market-oriented production, for instance, and ignores how the gains from that output are distributed. Today experts gather in Seoul to discuss work on alternative measures led by Joseph Stiglitz and Jean-Paul Fitoussi, two eminent economists, and commissioned by the OECD, a group of mostly rich countries. Their report recommends adding a number of indicators to policymakers’ dashboards, including measures of inequality, environmental sustainability, happiness and trust. Economic insecurity—such as income buffers available to people when trouble strikes—also matters. If governments had considered insecurity during the 2007-08 financial crisis, they would have provided their economies with more support, and continued to do so even after GDP started to recover. But, as the report says, “what you measure affects what you do.”