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'Main Street' economic conditions misread by GDP
Date:2/18/2010

Armed with the more comprehensive GPI data, officials will have a more meaningful guide to policy, Ruth concludes. He adds that this data might have made a difference had it been available back in 2000.

"We might have moved more rapidly towards sustainable practices may have invested more in communities that hold together, rather than roads that spread us apart, invested more in local jobs rather than an economy that moves them to far-flung places on this globe, may have invested more in energy technology that harnesses local, renewable resources like wind and solar, instead of burning more nonrenewable fossil fuels," Ruth says.

As members of the working group of Maryland officials that selected the measure, Ruth and his colleagues at CIER coordinated data collection and calculated the GPI back to 1960. They also developed a unique interactive online modeling tool that allows policy-makers and citizens to forecast economic progress through 2060.

GPI FINDINGS AND FORECASTS

Into the 1970s, the difference between the GPI and the Gross State Product was relatively small. But by 2000, the GSP was more than 50 percent greater than the GPI, Ruth found. "A goal now should be to identify and reverse those drivers that made the two diverge," he concludes.

Ruth also developed a unique dynamic modeling tool that enables policymakers and the public to forecast how environmental, social and economic policies and investments will affect prosperity in 2060. http://forio.com/service/netsims/mruth1/gpi_model_111909/index.html

The CIER modeling shows that by 2060, maximizing efforts to create green jobs, clean energy savings and smart growth could each double the GPI. While several nations and three U.S. states (Vermont, Minnesota and Ohio) have calculated their GPI, no other jurisdiction has developed a publicly accessible modeling tool.


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Contact: Neil Tickner
ntickner@umd.edu
301-405-4622
University of Maryland
Source:Eurekalert  

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