Keywords: Australia, genuine progress indicator, GPI, consumption, sustainable well-being, green economics, economic growth, economic development, policy implications
Comparing Australia's genuine progress to its economic growth performance
Australia has recorded consistently strong levels of economic growth in recent times. Under conventional considerations, the well-being experienced by Australians would also be considered to have increased in equal terms over this period. This is because aggregate standard national accounts have from their inception been assigned as proxy measures of well-being both within the economic literature and public debate. However, this approach fails to consider a number of important economic costs and non-welfaristic impacts on well-being associated with a growing economy. As a result, figures such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita over-estimate well-being. It is possible to adjust these estimates to overcome these limitations. Within this paper, the sustainable well-being of Australia will be reviewed by estimating a Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) for the period 19862003. Policy implications following from this new analysis will also be discussed.