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Green GDP

Friday, March 02, 2012
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A new part of the spec for HL IB Econ. Here is an interesting article on Green GDP from Professor Stiglitz (he is a Nobel Laureate and professor of economics at Columbia University)

Green GDP

There needs to be a focus on what we call “Green GDP” – taking account of environmental degradation and resource depletion.  This is particularly important in developing countries that may, for example, be growing by cutting down their forests.  But once they cut down the forests, there’s nothing there.  And so unless they do something, it’s not sustainable.  GDP tells you nothing about sustainability.  Another example – the IMF thought Argentina was doing great in the early 1990s.  In looking at the data though, in a more fine grained way, we found that their growth was not sustainable.  If you only looked at GDP, you would not have realized that.

There are ways that you can adjust for depletion of natural resources and degradation of the environment.  If you do that, China’s growth, for example, gets significantly lowered.  It’s still doing well, but it is much lower than it otherwise would have been.


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