Global concerns such as climate change, resource depletion, inequality, poverty, and health are pressing decision-makers to move away from a narrow focus on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a single metric to measure economic success and citizens’ wellbeing. However, there is a lack of consensus on how to achieve this. Did you miss the live discussion between Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni and youth representatives from across Europe? Don’t worry, you can watch the recorded version by accessing the European Commission's Streaming Service and DG ECFIN’s Twitter profile.
Here’s what you need to know:
Event: Youth Policy Dialogue with Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni.
How can I replay the Dialogue?
- youth policy
Since World War II, GDP has been widely used to measure economic welfare and, by extension, progress. However, through the years, concerns have been raised with measuring economic success via this single indicator. Already in 1968 U.S. presidential candidate Robert Kennedy underlined how “the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. […] it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile”.
GDP is aimed at simplifying reality while capturing the main relevant dynamics at play, but it does not track inequality, (relative) poverty, or the distribution of the benefits of economic growth. GDP does not account either for the depletion of natural resources and environmental sustainability, nor the value of housework, which ties in with today’s increasingly blurred lines between work and personal life caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. And more broadly, GDP does not capture well the location of intangible assets, and the importance of data.
Over the past few years, researchers have been developing new complementary indicators and metrics to feed into policymaking in order to more accurately assess the quality of growth and Measuring what matters: looking beyond GDP intends to contribute to this debate by listening to your views and policy proposals.
Replay the discussion between Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni and young representatives from across Europe.