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Transcript
Broader Measures of
Progress
J. Steven Landefeld, Director
“Response to the Rio+20 Mandate for Broader Measures of Progress”
High Level Forum Event for the UN Statistical Commission Meeting
February 25th, 2013
www.bea.gov
Broader Measures of Economic Progress?
▪ Recent Impetus for Broader Measures:
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Rio +20
Housing and financial crisis
Great recession and slow recovery
Fiscal crisis
Increasing concentration of income
 Stiglitz report
▪ How Broad?

“National accounts should include elements that reflect economic welfare that can be
brought directly or indirectly into relation with the measuring rod of money” –Pigou

▪
He emphasized that can might mean anything from can easily to can with violent
straining.
Progress on broader measures have waited too long (over 75 years!)

www.bea.gov
We need to set ambitious, but achievable goals
2
Broader Measures of Economic Progress?
▪ Long-Standing List to Choose From:
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
Energy and Natural Resource Accounts
Environmental Accounts
Distribution of Income, Consumption, and Wealth
Alternative Measures of Sustainability
Medical Care and Health Accounts
Education
Real Government Output
Household Production
▪ Choices will depend on country priorities and
resources, but some degree of standardization and
comparability (SNA/SEEA, etc.) important
www.bea.gov
3
Broader Measures of Economic Progress?
▪ Challenges include:



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Gaps in data
Lack of consensus on estimating methods
Fiscal crisis
Economic crisis
This stuff is really important with large economic and
political implications
▪ Big Bang or Incremental Approach?
 Current environment may suggest incremental approach with
extensions in key areas (w/double bang for the buck)
 What are some of these areas?
www.bea.gov
4
Growing or Shrinking Living
Standards?
Source: BEA, Census
www.bea.gov
5
Growing but Slower
Source: BEA, Census
www.bea.gov
6
Alternative Measures of the
Purchasing Power of Households
Source: BEA
www.bea.gov
7
How Did We “Miss” the Housing Bubble?
Source: BEA, Federal Reserve Board, Standard & Poor’s
www.bea.gov
8
How Did We “Miss” the Stock Price Bubble?
Source: BEA, Standard & Poor’s
www.bea.gov
9
Where’s the Debt?
Total liabilities/total financial assets
Source: BEA
www.bea.gov
10
Investing For the Future of Just Keeping Up?
Source: BEA
www.bea.gov
11
Human Capital
Source: BEA, Christian (2012)
www.bea.gov
12
What is the Value of Household Work?
www.bea.gov
13
Long-Term Happiness and Real GDP
Source: BEA, University of Michigan, Veenhoven, R., World Database of Happiness, Distributional Findings in Nations
www.bea.gov
14
Happiness & the Financial Crisis
Unemployment rate
Gallup Well-being Index
Source: BEA, Gallup
www.bea.gov
15