Measuring economic well-being: Why GDP is the wrong metric

January 13, 2014



Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, tells us a lot about what an economy produces and how much. But what does it tell us about whether most people are better off, economically speaking?

As a new research paper from CFI’s economist, Chris Stiffler, notes, economists for years have been trying to come up with a better way to measure economic well-being than GDP. What a number of leading economists have suggested in recent years is using a measure called GPI, or the Genuine Progress Indicator, to measure economic progress. Stiffler’s research calculates GPI, expressed as a per capita dollar figure, in Colorado for the first time.

What his research shows is that while GDP has continued to grow steadily for decades, Coloradans have not seen the same kind of economic progress.

Click here to read the research paper or check out our GPI two-pager.

Also, listen here to Stiffler explaining his research and the concept of GPI to Ryan Warner on CPR’s Colorado Matters.

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