Nov 26, 2019

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz calls for the end of GDP

Joseph Stiglitz. Photo: Julia Reinhart/Getty Images

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz renewed calls to retire the gross domestic product, or GDP, as the go-to economic indicator.

The big picture: Calls to revamp GDP, no matter how unlikely, are no longer coming from the corners of academia. They're seeping into the mainstream.

"So what if GDP goes up, if most citizens are worse off? ... [I]t should be clear that, in spite of the increases in GDP, in spite of the 2008 crisis being well behind us, everything is not fine."
— Joseph Stiglitz, in an op-ed for The Guardian
  • Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang called for a "GDP upgrade" that measures quality of life, happiness, clean air and clean water, among other things at a CNN town hall in September.
  • And at a hearing on Capitol Hill, the Commerce Department was called upon to provide regular breakdowns of GDP growth by income bracket.

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