an alternative to the GDP: the genuine progress indicator (GPI)

The Genuine Progress Indicator [GPI] is a GDP alternative that places value on the overall well-being of the world, rather than only the money we spend and goods we consume, by using 26 indicators to consolidate “critical economic, environmental, and social factors into a single framework in order to give a more accurate picture of the progress – and the setbacks – we have made.” This allows the clearly negative qualities associated with growth to be subtracted from the positive attributes. In turn, a clearer picture of the impacts of policy decisions made is developed providing an opportunity to cultivate a path towards a more sustainable future.

Of the 26 indicators used for computing the GPI, 7 are economic: personal consumption expenditures, income inequality, adjusted personal consumption, cost of consumer durables, adjusted personal consumption, value of consumer durables, cost of underemployment, and net capital investment; 9 are environmental: cost of water pollution, cost of air pollution, cost of noise pollution, loss of wetlands, loss of farmland, loss of primary forests and damage from logging roads, carbon emission damage, cost of ozone depletion, and depletion of natural resources; and 9 are social: value of housework and parenting, cost of family changes, cost of crime, cost of household pollution abatement, value of volunteer work, loss of leisure time, value of higher education, value of highways and streets, costs of commuting, and cost of automobile accidents.


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