This episode is about measuring “The Good Life.” Gross domestic product, or GDP, has been the longstanding indicator for evaluating a country’s performance and prosperity. But there is a growing movement to look beyond GDP, which only accounts for goods and services. Economists and other stakeholders argue the need for a better metric – one that considers health, access to education, happiness, and other dimensions of human welfare to provide a more complete picture.
Host Heather Howard, a professor at Princeton University and former New Jersey Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, discusses the issue with two guests: Professor Ori Heffetz, a Princeton alum and visiting research scholar from Cornell and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and Yanchun Zhang, chief statistician at the United Nations Development Programme and proponent of the Human Development Index, an alternative approach to assessing human welfare and rating a country’s wellbeing.
Their conversation addresses the shortcomings of GDP (as a metric for national wellbeing), how to construct a more accurate and useful index, and the vital role of data-based policymaking.
Learn more about Ori Heffetz's work:
Interview: Spotlight on Ori Heffetz
Article: Measuring the Essence of the Good Life
Learn more about The Human Development Index.
The Princeton Pulse Podcast is a production of Princeton University's Center for Health and Wellbeing (CHW). The show is hosted by Heather Howard, a professor at Princeton University and former New Jersey Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, and produced by Aimee Bronfeld, with support from Eden Teshome, Dan Quiyu, and Kayce West. You can subscribe to The Princeton Pulse Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you enjoy your favorite podcasts.