Towards A Broader View of National Performance
There’s a fundamental societal shift underway—and many governments are missing it. National decision makers and government leaders are still mainly relying on the product equivalent to assess policy performance, failing to consider the equivalent of consumer experience--the well-being of citizens. The growth of Gross Domestic Product is indeed the most common national performance metric—used by governments and widely tracked by international organizations and the media. But GDP is a narrow measure that focuses on economic factors, shedding little light on critical societal outcomes such as education, health and the distribution of wealth. GDP needs to be complemented with other measures. We propose a new approach, one in which government policy is guided at a high level by a three-fold view of national performance: first, economic value generation; second, individual perceptions of well being and third, national outcomes (averages and distributions) and characteristics that affect well-being. These three measures—essentially economic performance, subjective well-being and objective well being-- are impacted by a number of common factors. But they remain distinctly different and, when assessed separately, can yield valuable complementary insights.
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