Charles A.E. Goodhart, Jonathan Ashworth, Wednesday, October 8, 2014 - 00:00

Leandro Prados de la Escosura, Saturday, September 27, 2014 - 00:00

Timothy N. Bond, Kevin Lang, Friday, July 4, 2014 - 00:00

Self-reported measures of happiness are growing in popularity as alternatives to GDP. This column presents a novel statistical critique of the validity of comparing such measures across groups. Since monotonic transformations of individuals’ happiness levels can reverse average happiness rankings between countries, no meaningful comparison can be made without assumptions on the distribution of happiness.

Diane Coyle, Monday, June 9, 2014 - 00:00

As a measure of economic activity, GDP is imperfect, but no more so than any single indicator of the whole economy. Yet public policy debate about the economy is often focused on GDP growth to the exclusion of other important considerations. This Vox Talk argues the case for a ‘dashboard’ of alternative indicators that, in addition to measuring economic activity, could also capture social welfare, sustainability and the benefits of innovation.

Diane Coyle, Monday, February 17, 2014 - 00:00

Criticism of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as an indicator of the health of the economy has grown in recent years, in part because of a new focus on measures of subjective well-being or ‘happiness’. This column argues that the debate needs to distinguish between the different purposes of measurement: economic activity, social welfare, and sustainability are distinct concepts and cannot be captured by a single indicator. There are good arguments for paying less attention to GDP and more to indicators of welfare and sustainability, but it would be a mistake to adjust or replace GDP.

CEPR Policy Research