Recent widely disseminated discussions and analyses have highlighted that GDP, which is designed to measure production, is commonly considered to be inadequate as a gauge of well-being or social welfare. On the latter point, various proposals have been put forward for attempting to measure social welfare, including “dashboards” of economic and social indicators as well as approaches that are more explicitly tied to economic theory. Against this backdrop, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) recently initiated an effort to assess the merits of alternative approaches to supplementing GDP with a measure or measures that attempt to more fully capture social welfare. The proposed panel would begin with two overview presentations of possible approaches BEA and statistical agencies around the world could take to measuring social welfare. With these introductory remarks as background, a panel of economic measurement experts from academia and the economic statistics user communities will briefly discuss the pros and cons of alternative approaches, with general discussion to follow. Our hope is that this panel would help catalyze BEA’s and other statistical agencies’ efforts to go beyond GDP by developing supplemental measures of social welfare.
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
Topic: Bureau of Economic Analysis Initiatives for Measuring Social Welfare
Topic: International Initiatives for Measuring Social Welfare