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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.

English

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Inequality of opportunity

This chapter discusses what is meant by inequality of opportunity (i.e. “ex ante inequality”), in the sense of how different circumstances involuntarily inherited or faced by individuals could affect their economic achievements later in life. This concept is also taken to include how fair the procedures are. The chapter presents the theoretical principles that can be used for measuring inequality of opportunity. Practical issues of measurement are illustrated through examples and stylised facts from the applied literature on inequality of opportunity and, in particular, on inter-generational economic mobility. The chapter summarises the nature of the data needed to monitor the observable dimensions of inequality of opportunity and makes recommendations on the statistics that should be regularly produced for effectively monitoring them.

English

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