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Economic performance and social progress - Following up on the Stiglitz Report

Last update: September 4, 2014

The gap between statistical measurements of socio-economic issues and public perception of these same issues has become a sensitive subject over the last few years. This is particularly true of the measurement of economic and social progress, where the almost exclusive use of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a global indicator of this progress has been called into question.

An international commission chaired by Joseph Stiglitz, with Amartya Sen as advisor and Jean-Paul Fitoussi as coordinator, took a close look at these questions. For each of the three domains defined by the Commission in its report submitted on 14 September 2009, this dossier presents the Report's recommendations and the contributions of the French public statistics authorities, both present and future.

Developments relating to Gross Domestic Product

Recommendations of the Stiglitz Commission

1) Look at income and consumption rather than production.

2) Consider income and consumption jointly with wealth.

3) Emphasize the household perspective.

4) Give more prominence to the distribution of income, consumption and wealth.

5) Broaden income measures to non-market activities.

Contributions

For year 2013

For year 2012

Before 2012

Forthcoming contributions

Quality of life

Recommendations of the Stiglitz Commission

1) Statistical offices should incorporate questions to capture people's life evaluations, experiences and priorities in their own survey.

2) Steps should be taken to improve measures of people's health, education, personal activities, political voice, social connections, environmental conditions and insecurity.

3) Quality-of-life indicators in all the dimensions covered should assess inequalities in a comprehensive way.

4) Surveys should be designed to assess the links between various quality-of-life domains for each person, and this information should be used when designing policies.

5) Statistical offices should provide the information needed to aggregate across quality-of-life dimensions, allowing the construction of different indexes.

Contributions

For year 2014

For year 2013

For year 2012

Before 2012

Forthcoming contributions

Sustainable development and environment

Recommendations of the Stiglitz Commission

1) Sustainability assessment requires a well-identified dashboard of indicators.

2) The distinctive feature of the components of this dashboard should be that they are interpretable as variations of some underlying "stocks" conditioning human well-being.

3) A monetary index of sustainability has its place in such a dashboard but, under the current state of the art, it should remain essentially focused on economic aspects of sustainability.

4) The environmental aspects of sustainability deserve a separate follow-up based on a well-chosen set of physical indicators.

Contributions

Forthcoming contributions