Beyond GDP: Inclusive Measures of Economic Progress | DW Global Media Forum | DW | 19.03.2013
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Beyond GDP: Inclusive Measures of Economic Progress

Tuesday, 18 June 2013, 11:30 p.m., Plenary Chamber

Hosted by United Nations University

The congruence of unprecedented economic, social and environmental crises call for a revaluation of our present measures of progress. Current indicators, such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the Human Development Index (HDI), are insufficient to provide robust indication of societal progress. They fail, for instance, to inform on distributional aspects of economic growth; to reflect the state of natural resources; and to indicate whether national policies are sustainable in the long run. In this context, the workshop aims at discussing new indicators of societal progress based on three international initiatives:

1) The Inclusive Growth Project, which works towards achieving material progress through economic growth while encompassing equity, equal opportunity to basic service provision, and social protection for the most vulnerable people of the society.

2) The Inclusive Wealth Report 2012 (IWR 2012) that presents a promising economic yardstick, the Inclusive Wealth Index (IWI). Grounded in theory and research, the IWR 2012 proposes a radical shift in the way we measure economic progress: switching the analysis from ‘flows’ (like GDP) to ‘stocks’ of capital assets (or wealth). In the report, the wealth of nations is evaluated in an inclusive way by considering not only manufactured capital, but also human and natural capital. Twenty countries were assessed in the IWR 2012, including high, middle and low-income economies over a period of 19 years (1990­­–2008). The IWR 2012 is the first of a series of reports that will be published every two years.

3) The Economics of Land Degradation (ELD), which is an initiative for a global study on the economic benefits of land use and land-based ecosystems. The vision of the ELD initiative is to transform the global understanding of the value of land and build support for sustainable management practices. These are critical matters to prevent the loss of natural capital, preserve ecosystem services for society, combat climate change as well as its relevance for food, energy and water security issues.


Schließ, Dr. Gero
Washington Correspondent, Deutsche Welle, Washington D.C., United States


Addison, Prof. Tony
Chief Economist / Deputy Director, United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research, Helsinki, Finland

Baker, Louise
Senior Adviser, Partnerships, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, Bonn, Germany

Duraiappah, Prof. Anantha
Executive Director, International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change, Bonn, Germany

Muñoz, Dr. Pablo
Academic Officer, International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) and Science Director of the IWR, Bonn, Germany

Complete workshop on soundcloud:

WS22 - Beyond GDP - Inclusive Measures of Economic Progress