This briefing note on economic indicators has been prepared by Tim Jackson, an Associate of the new economics foundation and Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey. It is based on numerical analyses carried out by the author and colleagues at the Centre for Environmental Strategy in the University of Surrey. This short paper explores various measures of progress and proposes a new indicator – the Measure of Domestic Progress (MDP) – as a substitute to Gross Domestic Product that corrects GDP by subtracting social costs, environmental costs and resource depletion. It shows over a period of 50 years the persistent divergence of MDP (almost flat) from GDP (almost always soaring) and casts doubts on the “myth of economic progress.”
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Jackson, Tim. 2004. Chasing Progress: Beyond measuring economic growth. London: New Economics Foundation. http://www.neweconomics.org/gen/z_sys_PublicationDetail.aspx?PID=176.