New well-being index would complement traditional GDP
Authors: Stuart Laidlaw
Collection: Research Materials
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a simple totalling of all goods and services in the economy, is the most used measure of the economy. In this document, Mr. Laidlaw outlines a different kind of statistical indicator designed to complement the GDP. It is called the Canadian Index of Well-being (CIW) and its goals are:
- To reflect a broad range of factors - such as the availability of health care, literacy rates, the quality of air and water, the costs of adequate housing and the value of unpaid work - that together determine the quality of life in Canada.
- To do it so it's comprehensive enough to satisfy the statisticians and policymakers but simple enough to be understood by the general public.
- Give policy makers a tool to show, in quantifiable terms, the positive impact of good social policy such as measures to alleviate poverty, and to demonstrate with hard numbers how a dollar spent now on education or health prevention can reap huge rewards years down the road."
Reproduced with permission - Torstar Syndication Services