GDP as a measure of economic progress

  1. Read the short editorial by Diane Coyle at regarding using GDP as a measure of economic progress. Visit the website for the OECD Better Life Index: free to explore the website and familiarize yourself with the index. Click on the “Countries” drop-down tab and select “United States” (you may have to scroll down to see the U.S.). Read through the summary information and corresponding rankings for the categories included in the index.
  2. Upload your individual response of 2-3 paragraphs (about 1 page) to any or all of the following questions. Your response will clearly involve some amount of opinion, but do your best at thinking through and analyzing the questions fully before writing your answer. Carefully organize your writing before uploading your response, and any information from outside sources must be cited appropriately using MLA style. You should upload these to the “Assignments” folder. Please be sure you save your assignment as .rtf, .docx, .doc in order to upload. See the attached rubric for how you will be graded on this assignment.


  1. What is your general reaction to Diane Coyle’s comments and the usefulness of GDP as a measure for comparing countries’ progress/well-being?
  2. What surprises you about the rankings and comparisons regarding the U.S.?
  3. Are there other categories that should be incorporated into a more complete well-being index?
  4. Of the categories included in the index, which do you find most important when making a comparison across countries regarding well-being?

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