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Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress

Welcome to the website of the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress

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Download the report of the commission

View videos of September 14, 2009 working day

  • Videos of morning sessions : Speeches of Joseph E. Stiglitz, Amartya Sen, Jean-Paul Fitoussi (General introduction), Amartya Sen, Angus Deaton, Bina Agarwal, Juan Somavia (Quality of Life).
  • Videos of afternoon sessions : Speeches of Christine Lagarde, Enrico Giovannini, Jean-Philippe Cotis, Nancy Folbre, Olivier Blanchard (Classic GDP-related issues), Geoffrey Heal, Nicholas Stern, Claude Henry (Sustainable development and the environment), Chantal Jouanno, Jacques Barrot, Angel Gurria, Otaviano Canuto, (Implementation of the report).

The Commission on the measurement of economic performance and social progress has been created at the beginning of 2008 on French government's initiative.

Increasing concerns have been raised since a long time about the adequacy of current measures of economic performance, in particular those based on GDP figures. Moreover, there are broader concerns about the relevance of these figures as measures of societal well-being, as well as measures of economic, environmental, and social sustainability.

Reflecting these concerns, President Sarkozy has decided to create this Commission, to look at the entire range of issues. Its aim was to identify the limits of GDP as an indicator of economic performance and social progress, to consider additional information required for the production of a more relevant picture, to discuss how to present this information in the most appropriate way, and to check the feasibility of measurement tools proposed by the Commission. Commission's work is not focused on France, nor on developed countries. The output of the Commission has been made public, providing a template for every interested country or group of countries.

The Commission was chaired by Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz, Columbia University. Professor Amartya Sen, Harvard University, was Chair Adviser. Professor Jean-Paul Fitoussi, Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, President of the Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE), was Coordinator of the Commission. Members of the Commission are renowned experts from universities, governmental and intergovernmental organisations, in several countries (USA, France, United Kingdom, India). Rapporteurs and secretariat have been provided by the French national statistical institute (Insee), OFCE, and OECD.

The Commission held its first plenary meeting on 22 - 23 April 2008 in Paris. Its final report has been made public on 14 September 2009.

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