Gross Domestic Welfare: Comprehensively Measuring Income, with pilot accounts for the U.S. and California
Presented by Eli Lazarus, PhD student, UC Berkeley Energy and Resources Group and member of the Sustainability Working Group!
**Wed, February 27, 2019
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST**
In order to better understand, track and optimize welfare, we need assessments of comprehensive welfare. Various initiatives attempt this; from GDP and other standard national accounts, to the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), metrics like the U.N. Development Program’s Human Development Index, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ Sustainable Development Goals, and Bhutan’s Gross Happiness Index. Gross Domestic Welfare (GDW) attempts to fill a gap in this research and these projects. GDW builds from the Genuine Progress Indicator, and from efforts to assess the full welfare contribution of ecosystem services and other non-market elements such as leisure. Elements that contribute to human welfare are incorporated as comprehensively as possible, valued in currency terms as a common unit, with shadow prices from valuation research where necessary. GDW differs from GPI in removing: historical and regional benchmarks; the boundary of impacts of the industrial economy; and a ‘standard’ and limited set of elements.
Initial pilot accounts are being built assessing California and the United States over the period 1995 to 2016. I will present these initial results, comparing them to GSP/GDP, and GPI accounts for CA and the US recently completed for the same period. I will present the framework, theory, and methods of Gross Domestic Welfare, and look forward to a robust discussion, including limitations, challenges, and priority steps forward.