Research-based
policy recommendations
for the G7

Towards Economic and Social Prosperity Measurement Beyond GDP

Abstract

To overcome the major challenges the world is facing today – from recovering from the pandemic to mitigating climate change – the global community will need concerted, transformative policy efforts, aligned with collective values and societal goals. Economic recovery must be equitable and not come at the cost of social cohesion. To achieve this, a new conception and goalpost indicators of prosperity are needed. Productivity growth and material gain, measured in terms of GDP, is insufficient as a key performance indicator and as a yardstick for social progress. It treats as a derivate the things we actually value, including not only economic wealth and the distribution of income, but also other dimensions of prosperity: social solidarity and participation, personal agency and opportunities, and environmental sustainability. In this Policy Brief, we propose ways to rethink and design new measures of economic and social prosperity for the G7 and beyond, encompassing not only material wealth and economic performance, but also the social and environmental dimensions of prosperity. We present concrete recommendations on necessary steps to achieve a policy-reorientation anchored in what we actually value – towards economic and social prosperity measurement beyond GDP.