The Prime Minister, paraphrasing Robert Kennedy in a speech last November, said that GDP ‘measures everything except that which makes life worthwhile’. Yet policy-makers and commentators remain fixed on GDP and growth above all else. The Government has asked the Office for National Statistics to discover how happy the population are – to measure ‘general wellbeing’ – but there is no clear policy agenda to follow from the results.
Good Growth goes a step further. The analysis in this pamphlet is a first in the measurement of ‘national progress’ – asking people their opinion on matters of policy, rather than just inquiring about their subjective experience. It finds that wider issues such as work-life balance, health and housing are viewed by the public as critical components of good economic performance, on top of raw GDP.
Through extensive polling and conjoint analysis, which forces participants to make trade-offs between factors, this pamphlet reveals what people value when push comes to shove. It recommends that at the same time as tracking GDP the Government should adopt the good growth index, so that economic policy decisions are aligned with citizens’ wishes. Only with this insight can policy- makers build the type of economy the public wants to see.