Accounting for Well-Being, Resilience, and Sustainability in the Twenty-First Century
How moving beyond GDP will improve well-being and sustainability
Never before in human history have we produced so much data, and this empirical revolution has shaped economic research and policy profoundly. But are we measuring, and thus managing, the right things—those that will help us solve the real social, economic, political, and environmental challenges of the twenty-first century? In Measuring Tomorrow, Éloi Laurent argues that we need to move away from narrowly useful metrics such as gross domestic product and instead use broader ones that aim at well-being, resilience, and sustainability. By doing so, countries will be able to shift their focus away from infinite and unrealistic growth and toward social justice and quality of life for their citizens.
The time has come for these broader metrics to become more than just descriptive, Laurent argues; applied carefully by private and public decision makers, they can foster genuine progress. He begins by taking stock of the booming field of well-being and sustainability indicators, and explains the insights that the best of these can offer. He then shows how these indicators can be used to develop new policies, from the local to the global.
An essential resource for scholars, students, and policymakers, Measuring Tomorrow covers all aspects of well-being—including health, education, and the environment—and incorporates a broad range of data and fascinating case studies from around the world: not just the United States and Europe but also China, Africa, the Middle East, and India.
Éloi Laurent is senior economist at the Sciences Po Centre for Economic Research (OFCE) in Paris. He also teaches at Stanford University and has been a visiting professor at Harvard University. He is the author or editor of fifteen books.