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Chapter 7 - The Sociology of Sustainable Development

143 the organization has constructed the gpi in

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Unformatted text preview: this measure also has shortcomings. For example, it cannot be used for cross-national comparison and it is not a direct measure of national sustainability—it’s an environmental correction for GNP.140 Other measures that account for environmental costs and benefits are the Adjusted National Product, 141 the UN’s System for Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting, and the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare.142 Redefining Progress, a public policy organization, created the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI). The group’s mission is to “ensure a more sustainable and socially equitable world for our children and our children’s children. 255 THE SOCIOLOGY OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Similar HDI, different income Income, Human real GDP development per capita index (PPP$) 1.00 12,000 Korea, Rep. of Similar income, different HDI Income, real GDP per capita (PPP$) 4,000 Human development index .700 Paraguay Philippines .900 10,000 .600 3,000 Morocco 8,000 .800 Nicaragua .500 6,000 2,000 Lao People's Costa Rica Botswana .700 Dem. Rep. .400 4,000 Gabon .600 1,000 Sri Lanka Senegal .300 2,000 0 Vietnam .500 0 FIGURE 7.7 HDI versus GNP SOURCE: From Human Development Report 1998, by United Nations Development Program, copyright © 1998 by The United Nations Development Program. Used by permission of Oxford University Press, Inc. Working both within and beyond the traditional economic framework, Redefining Progress generates and refines innovative policies and ideas that balance economic well-being, the environment, and social equity so that those living today and those living in the future can have a better quality of life.”143 The organization has constructed the GPI in contrast to the gross domestic product, which they argue is not a good measure of progress. In particular, they argue: The GDP fails to distinguish between monetary transactions that genuinely add to well-being and those that diminish, try to maintain the status quo, or make up for degraded conditions. . . . For example, the GDP treats crime, divorce, legal fees, and other signs of social breakdown as economic gains. Car wrec...
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