The Relevancy of GDP

Should there be more focus on measuring people’s happiness than GDP?

Shashank Vikram Pratap Singh

Published: March 2023

In recent years, the place of GDP and how to measure happiness are two pressing and contentious issues in development studies. Despite many flaws in the index of economic growth (GDP), it is used as a reliable indicator for measuring happiness without considering the costs and benefits of doing so. There have been efforts across the world to develop alternatives or to replace GDP with a more accurate and acceptable metric so that assessment of happiness could be made in a more comprehensive manner. The indicators developed so far have not been able to address issues concerning the contribution of well-being to the happiness of citizens. This paper attempts to highlight the issues pertaining to GDP vis-à-vis happiness and suggest alternative measures.

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