Les fétichistes du PIB

NEW YORK – S’efforcer de ressusciter l’économie de la planète tout en réagissant au changement climatique soulève une question épineuse : les statistiques sont-elles de bons indicateur des mesures à prendre ? Dans un monde axé sur la performance, les chiffres ont pris une importance accrue : ce que l'on mesure affecte nos actions.

En effet, si les résultats sont faibles, nos efforts (par exemple d'augmenter le PIB) peuvent contribuer à détériorer le niveau de vie. Nous pouvons aussi nous retrouver confrontés à de faux choix, en croyant, à tort, que le rendement compromet la protection environnementale. En revanche, une meilleure appréciation de la performance économique pourrait montrer que les mesures prises pour améliorer l’environnement sont bénéfiques à l’économie.

Il y a dix-huit mois, le président français Nicolas Sarkozy a créé une Commission sur la Mesure de la Performance Économique et du Progrès Social, car il n'était pas satisfait – il n'était d'ailleurs pas le seul – de l’information statistique de l'époque sur l’économie et la société. Cette commission publiera son rapport tant attendu le 14 septembre.

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