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For Good Measure

Advancing Research on Well-being Metrics Beyond GDP

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The 2009 Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress (“Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi” Commission) concluded that we should move away from over-reliance on GDP when assessing a country’s health, towards a broader dashboard of indicators that would reflect concerns such as the distribution of well-being and sustainability in all of its dimensions. This book includes contributions from members of the OECD-hosted High Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, the successor of the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Commission, and their co-authors on the latest research in this field. These contributions look at key issues raised by the 2009 Commission that deserved more attention, such as how to better include the environment and sustainability in our measurement system, and how to improve the measurement of different types of inequalities, of economic insecurity, of subjective well-being and of trust.

A companion volume Beyond GDP: Measuring What Counts for Economic and Social Performance presents an overview by the co-chairs of the High Level Expert Group, Joseph E. Stiglitz, Jean-Paul Fitoussi and Martine Durand of the progress accomplished since the 2009 report, of the work conducted by the Group over the past five years, and of what still needs to be done.

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Distributional national accounts

This chapter summarises concepts, methods, and goals of the WID.world project, the World Inequality Database, along with some first results from this source. WID.world builds on the experience of the World Top Incomes Database (WTID) to construct time-series on the concentration of income at the very top of the distribution in more than 30 countries, to include wealth distribution and developing as well as developed countries. The ultimate goal of WID.world is to provide annual estimates of the distribution of income and wealth using concepts consistent with macro-economic accounts, i.e. to construct distributional national accounts (DINA). WID.world also aims to produce synthetic micro-files providing online information on income and wealth (i.e. individual level data that do not result from direct observation but rather through estimates that reproduce the observed distribution of the underlying data). The long-run aim of the WID.world project is to release income and wealth synthetic DINA micro-files for all countries on an annual basis.

English

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