Australia's Genuine Progress Indicator Revisited (1962 - 2013)

Daniel (Danny) Kenny, Robert Costanza, Tom Dowsley, Nichelle Jackson, Jairus Josol, Ida Kubiszewski, Harkiran Narulla, Saioa Sese, Anna Sutanto, Jonathan Thompson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) has been proposed as an alternative to GDP as an indicator of national progress. GPI includes 26 components that adjust GDP for inequality, include household and volunteer work, and subtract a number of social and environmental costs best seen as negatives. The GPI has been estimated for over 20 countries and many states and territories. This paper updates Australia's GPI to determine whether Australia as a nation has progressed overall since the 1960s and compares two alternative approaches that differ in some important details. We find that despite these differing approaches, we find that GPI remained largely stagnant from the 1960s through to the 1990s, and only at the turn of the century has GPI started to increase, despite increasing negative environmental costs. While GPI is well placed to serve as an improved Australian and global measure of national progress, further work is needed to measure national well-being and support its integration into political decision-making and to include the full range of subjective and objective indicators. Ultimately, this paper argues that while GPI is well placed to serve as a new Australian and global measure of well-being, we stress the need for an alternative indicator, like GPI, to supplement GDP and to better inform policy decisions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-10
    JournalEcological Economics
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


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