New report says better metrics could have prompted stronger response to the crisis

crisis 2018

(Unsplash, 2018)

This article is brought to you in association with OECD.


Better measurement of the economy and of people’s well-being could have led governments to respond more strongly to mitigate the damage caused by the 2008 financial crisis and reduce people’s continuing loss of trust in public institutions, according to a new report.

Beyond GDP: Measuring What Counts for Economic and Social Performance says that different metrics, including of people’s economic insecurity, would have revealed that the consequences of the recession were deeper than GDP statistics suggested. As a result, the importance of bolstering safety nets and social protection was not sufficiently taken into account.

The report, produced by the three co-Chairs of the High-Level Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz, Professor Jean-Paul Fitoussi and OECD Chief Statistician Martine Durand, recommends that governments use a dashboard of indicators to assess a country’s health and people’s conditions.

This dashboard of indicators should encompass the most important dimensions of people’s lives, such as skills, health, jobs and income, as well as economic security, environmental degradation and trust. It should pay attention not just to average outcomes but also to how policies affect each of the segments of society, and give a balanced consideration to well-being today and in the future. These indicators should be broad enough to reflect key concerns, but narrow enough to be readily understood by policy makers and the public.

“It is only by having better metrics that truly reflect people’s lives and aspirations that we will be able to design and implement better policies for better lives,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, launching the report at the 6th OECD World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy in Incheon, Korea. “It’s essential to try to establish the truth of people’s lives rather than the truth we find it most practical to study. This will play a key role in restoring people’s trust in institutions and supporting inclusive growth.”

“Too much emphasis has been placed on GDP as the leading measure of the health of economies and societies,” said Professor Stiglitz. “Ahead of the crisis this blinded policy makers to the dangers lurking and led them to make the wrong policy choices in the aftermath. If we do not look at the things that matter in life – whether that is inequalities, how people feel they are doing, their health and capabilities, or environmental sustainability – we cannot make the right choices for people, societies and the planet.”

“People can’t live without at least the hope of social progress,” said Professor Fitoussi. “This was the backbone of our work – we scrutinized the available metrics to determine how and why they might hide a regressive evolution, from economic security to trust, passing through sustainability, inequalities including those of opportunities, and other measures and determinants of well-being. The central question, instead of focusing on GDP, then becomes: growth of what and for whom?”

The report also evaluates progress made in developing metrics going beyond GDP since 2009 and in using them in policy making. It contains a set of 12 recommendations to move forward which include: urging the international community to invest in upgrading the statistical infrastructure of poor countries; allowing statistical offices to use tax records to capture developments in the top-end of the distribution; integrating information on inequalities in macro-economic statistics to understand who benefits from GDP growth; routinely assessing the effects of policies on people’s economic insecurity, to better measure sustainability and resilience; and, measure trust and social norms through both surveys and experimental tools.

An accompanying report, For Good Measure: Advancing Research on Well-being Metrics Beyond GDP, summarises the contributions to these debates by leading economists, political scientists, sociologists, psychologists and statisticians.

These reports are released at the 6th OECD World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy being held in Incheon, Korea, where international experts, policy makers, and business leaders from fields as diverse as the economy, the environment, health, development, social affairs, governance  and statistics are discussing the trends that will re-shape people’s lives in the decades to come, as well as the information gaps that need to be filled to respond to the challenges ahead.

The report will serve as a reference for the OECD’s Better Life Initiative which focuses on developing statistics that can capture aspects of life that matter to people and that, taken together, help to shape the quality of their lives. It also encompasses a range of research and methodological projects on measuring well-being. This includes developing measurement guidelines (e.g. on income, consumption and wealth; subjective well-being; trust; and the quality of the work environment), and building the evidence base on the distribution of well-being outcomes (e.g. income, wealth, and health inequalities) and opportunities.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

More than nine in ten children exposed to deadly air pollution

For the future of Europe youth remains a priority

Joint advocacy letter template to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

‘Stop and listen’ to victims of terrorism, UN chief urges in message marking international day

Financiers can turn the world into a dirty and dangerous place

Why gin made from peas helps the environment

An ECB banker wants to change the European social model

Parliament boosts consumer rights online and offline

World in grip of ‘high impact weather’ as US freezes, Australia sizzles, parts of South America deluged

Trade Committee advocates lower tariffs in Western Sahara

Drug laws must be amended to ‘combat racial discrimination’, UN experts say

“As German Chancellor I want to be able to cope with the merger of the real and digital economy”, Angela Merkel from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Civilian death toll continues to mount in Syria, UN relief chief tells Security Council

ECB tied in the anti-monetary German ideology

Threat from petty criminals who turn to terrorism, a growing concern, Security Council hears

What the Corn Laws tell us about Brexit Britain

EU-U.S. Privacy Shield: Second review shows improvements but a permanent Ombudsperson should be nominated by 28 February 2019

EU–Canada Summit: strengthening the rules-based international order

EU deal on electricity market rules to benefit both consumers and environment

DR Congo Ebola centre attacks could force retreat against the deadly disease, warns UN health chief

EU trade agreements deliver on growth and jobs, support sustainable development

Brexit: Britain and the Continent fighting the battle of Waterloo again

Eurozone’s bank resolution mechanism takes a blow

Northern Bahamas ravaged by ‘disaster of epic proportions’ as UN releases $1 million in emergency funds

Ensuring the ‘lungs of the planet’ keep us alive: 5 things you need to know about forests and the UN

Migrant workers sent more money to India than any other country last year

COP21 Breaking News_10 December: UN Climate Chief Calls for Final Push to Meet Adaptation Fund Goal Very Close to Target

A critical European young voice on Net Neutrality: the distance between Brussels and Washington

‘Climate change is the battle of my life’, UN chief tells students living on the frontline in Fiji

Have central banks missed the exit train?

The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union will impact young people’s future the most

Europe eyes to replace US as China’s prime foreign partner

Mobile young people create the European labour market of tomorrow

Two major EU projects falter; the Schengen Agreement now freezes and Eurozone fails to resolve the Greek enigma

Nigeria: UN chief ‘appalled’ by killing of aid worker; calls for release of remaining hostages

Preferential tariffs to help Western Sahara to develop

The European Union and the United States sign an agreement on imports of hormone-free beef

Everything you need to know about water

UN chief condemns student abductions in north-west Cameroon

Congrats to the #FutureofMalta: a new age of voting

Parliament approves €34m in EU aid to Greece, Poland, Lithuania and Bulgaria

Why the ECB prepares to flood the markets with more and free of charge euro; everybody needs that now

Do electronic cigarettes produce adverse health effects?

Cyclone Idai: UNICEF warns of ‘race against time’ to protect children, prevent spread of disease in flood-ravaged Mozambique

“We need to use the momentum globally to ensure that corporations pay their fare share of taxation”, EU Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis outlines from the World Economic Forum 2017.

For how long and at what cost can the ECB continue printing trillions to keep euro area going?

How to close the gender pay gap in three steps

FROM THE FIELD: How the smell of fresh bread transformed one refugee life

EU-China relations under investigation?

Out with the old: Young People transforming Humanitarian Action

Bayer-Monsanto merger: the story of the rise of the “endless company”

Pakistan’s digital revolution is happening faster than you think

EU Commission: The banks are not obliged to finance the real economy

Latvian economy is thriving, but boosting productivity, improving social protection and transitioning to a low-carbon productive model are vital for sustainable and inclusive growth

Who is to lose from the 6-month extension of the EU economic sanctions against Russia?

Further reforms in Japan needed to meet the challenges of population ageing and high public debt

This is what the world’s waste does to people in poorer countries

Monday’s Daily Brief: Nigeria massacre, Libya shelling condemned; recycled plastic used to build classrooms in Côte d’Ivoire

A seafood fraud investigation DNA tested fish sold in the US. Here’s what they found

E-Governance: A powerful tool to combat, mitigate and sustainably manage disaster risks

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s