Lies, damned lies and gross domestic product statistics (Toronto Star)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Striving to revive the world economy while simultaneously responding to the global climate crisis has raised a knotty question: Are statistics giving us the right signals about what to do?

In our performance-oriented world, measurement issues have taken on increased importance. What we measure affects what we do.

If we have poor measures, what we strive to do (say, increase GDP) may actually contribute to a worsening of living standards. We may also be confronted with false choices, seeing trade-offs between output and environmental protection that don't exist. By contrast, a better measure of economic performance might show that steps taken to improve the environment are good for the economy.

Read the full article at The Star website.

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