Measuring Prosperity: Maryland's Genuine Progress Indicator

Abstract
"Though never designed to do so, the worlds main economic indicator, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), has become our way of measuring well-being, even though it ignores many negative impacts from economic activities. Further, elected officials feel pressure from consumer-voters to enact policies based on traditional economic objectives. The Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) is an alternative, more comprehensive gauge that values critical elements of our social and environmental conditions. While most GPI studies are on a national scale, Maryland calculated and updates its own GPI. The Maryland GPI and its many online resources counter the perceived link between economic growth and social well-being by educating the public on Marylands conditions and spurring debate on what true prosperity means for the state. The GPI also empowers state analysts and officials with various policy and budget evaluation tools and supports parallel efforts in ecosystem services and valuation. The process of how Maryland developed its GPI may provide guidance and support for other subnational governments in utilizing similar efforts in pursuit of a more restorative economy."
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Keywords
economic behavior, social capital
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