SANTIAGO – One of the recurrent themes at the United Nations’ spectacularly unsuccessful Rio+20 summit in June was the need to change how we measure wealth. Many argue that we must abandon our “obsession” with Gross Domestic Product and develop a new “green” accounting standard to replace it. In fact, doing so could be a serious mistake.
GDP is really just an account of the market value of all goods and services. This sounds like a good indicator of wealth, but, as is frequently pointed out, it includes things that do not make us richer and leaves out things that do.