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Thursday, May 21, 2015

GDP and the Disadvantages of GINI

Forum - Sixty Second Idea to Improve the World: A world without GDP 07 Apr 2015

Archaeologist and Historian Ian Morris:

"Getting rid of GDP altogether probably isn't a very good idea.

I was talking about the GINI coefficient earlier.

Hunter-gatherer societies have these very low GINI scores. They're very equal. But that's because everybody is equally miserably poor.

By one calculation... Economist Angus Maddison calculated the average hunter-gatherer throughout history had lived on the equivalent [of] about a dollar and ten cents in modern US terms per day.

Now, that's not very much.

In modern times of course the average daily income is much much higher but distributed much less equally. Not many people want to go back and be hunter-gatherers.

So I think, yeah, the different indices: they're all telling us slightly different things. I would say rather than saying: "What's the best one", we should be saying, "How many of these different things do we have to couple together to actually get a decent picture?"
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