There are various different signals employed by the economists to gauge the development of the market and GDP should be the one most commonly used in practice. It could indicate the quantitative changes of the financial development, but its qualities. The limitation of GDP in this area helps prevent it from calculating the monetary welfare people get. This article will discuss how GDP is computed and the limits of GDP in calculating the economical welfare. There will be also the advantages of the substitutes of GDP which can be developed to gauge the economic welfare.

The Idea of Gross Local Products (GDP) and its own Calculation

GDP is the abbreviation of gross local product. It refers to the market value of all the last goods and services produced by one country or region with the production factors in one year or in certain period of time (Gutierrez et al. , 2007). It had been first produced by the economist Simon Kuznets in the 1930s and has been slowly but surely used by the governments of various countries to gauge the total value of the output of the market following the Second World Battle. Since that time, GDP has been the sign for the dimension of development level of the economy. It really is an important index of the general situation of the macroeconomics, which reflects the advancements of the overall economy.

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GDP is one of the field of the measuring of the aggregate economy. You will find mainly three solutions to calculate the worthiness of GDP, specifically, the production way, the income strategy and the expenditure approach. They reflect the results of the countrywide market from different views.

The production way calculates the monetary results by summarizing the total output values of all industries of the market and subtracting the value of all intermediate goods. The approach only includes the value added in the production process, so it is also called the worthiness added way (Viet, 2009). The next method is the income way. It focuses on the income made in the creation process. Various production factors get excited about the development process and they can find the income per their relevant contribution to the economic activities. The conclusion of all the incomes of the many development factors is the consequence of the economical activities. For example, labors and capitals are the primary factors used in the production. So their incomes, the pay and the interest constitute the key part of the GDP computed by theincome way (Viet, 2012). The expenditure methodology calculates the GDP from the view of the final usages of the products and services. The results of the ultimate products and services usually include two main parts, the usage and the investment. And utilization covers the need from the household sectors, the federal government and the overseas consumers. So in the expenditure procedure, GDP includes family members utilization, the investment, the federal government spending and the net exports. In practice, the expenditure procedure is most common method utilized by the government of countries on the globe. (Viet, 2011)

The Restrictions of GDP

The changes of GDP could reveal the tendency of the monetary development and almost all of the countries consider the increase of GDP as the targets of the economic development. Although GDP has been used widely as the sign to gauge the development level of the world market, there are inherent restriction and weaknesses in this method that inhibits its wider use in the economic progress. And it especially reduces the efficiency of GDP in evaluating the economic welfare. The primary restriction of GDP is the fact it generally does not indicate all the articles of the economic activities, which weakens the role of GDP as the indicator of the financial welfare.

GDP cannot represent the overall situation of people’s welfare

Generally speaking, the financial progress could bring the increase of people’s income, as well as their financial welfare. The per capita GDP is usually used to indicate the average degree of people’s income in the countries. And it is also used to classify the counties with their financial development levels. Nonetheless it cannot indicate the dissimilarities of the people’s welfare caused by the dissimilarities of income distribution. For instance, for the man having no money in any way, he could turn into a billionaire in conditions of the per capita GDP when there is merely he and Costs Gates in his country. But he’s not likely to enjoy the same welfare as Monthly bill. So GDP, or the per capita GDP masks the true situation of the welfare people really get (Berenger and Verdier-Chouchane, 2007).

Besides, there are plenty of things in people’s welfare, not just the monetary one. The leisure and family pleasure are also very important part of the welfare. People would have little time to invest with young families when they are active in producing the final products and services. The increase of the GDP will not indicate the increase of people’s overall welfare.

The non-market monetary activities

Besides, what GDP will not cover is the non-market monetary activities. Per the concept of GDP, it displays the market prices of the final products and services. For the products and services that are not exchanged on the marketplace, their principles are hard to evaluate. For example, family members works completed by the full-time housewives, like preparing, cleaning, and taking care of the olds and children, aren’t paid in by the family. So they are not contained in the calculation of GDP. But if these works are done by the baby-sitters who hired and paid by the families, they will be covered by GDP, given that they have the marketplace values. Inside the developed countries, there’s a high level of the marketization of the housework. The kids will be delivered to kindergartens, olds to the nursing home. People have more chance to consume outside rather than cooking home. Each one of these works will be computed in GDP. However in the expanding countries, most of the housework is completed by the numbers of the family. And their efforts are not recognized by the market and the GDP. The same household works can make different efforts to the calculation of GDP in several countries. But for individuals no matter in the developed countries or the expanding ones, these works increase their welfare (Bridgman et al. , 2012).

In the computation of GDP, having less these non-market economical activities reduces the ability of GDP to give a full representation of the economical activities. So that it could not tell the entire welfare people get from the economical activities.

GDP does not reflect the grade of the financial development

What people could easily get from GDP is just the number of the value added in the given time. It only shows the quantity changes of the end result of the current economic climate or the quantitative expansion of the overall economy. The grade of the result and the market cannot be responded to by this indicator. And the growth of GDP will not equal with the economical growth, since the economic growth also includes the improvement of the economic quality (Costanza et al. , 2009).

For example, the increase of GDP cannot tell the way the economy grows up. There are usually three driven forces of the overall economy, the utilization, the investment and the exportation. In case the increase of the GDP is induced by the use from family members sector, the quality of the economic expansion could be looked at as a good growth. But if it is mainly motivated by the investment, especially the main one in the real real estate market or the infrastructures, the grade of the economic progress is worth to worry, since this kind of development cannot sustain for a long time. The investment only escalates the amount of GDP, but not the welfare people could get.

When using GDP as the key indicator to assess the economic expansion, there would be some weird things in the development plans and practices of the governments. They would have the desire to investment huge money in the building of the infrastructures, like highways, railways and airports, since these assignments would make great increase of GDP. And they don’t have to consider whether these assignments are needed or not, that could cause the waste products of the public and financial resources. Besides, incidents would be welcomed by the governments, given that they also can raise the GDP. When there are mishaps, the new vehicles or properties will be had a need to replace the ones destroyed in the mishaps, which means the increase of the ultimate products and services. But people’s welfare does not see any increase in these activities (Costanza et al. , 2009).

What GDP provides is merely the cold amounts about the total amount changes of the overall economy. It cannot mirror the quality of the economic growth.

The environment cost and pollution

Except for the restriction in calculating the entire details and quality of the economical growth, GDP also cannot mirror the concealed costs of the financial growth, particularly the environment cost of the financial activities. GDP only includes the costs that could be exchanged and respected on the market. These environment costs, like environmentally friendly disruption and pollution, usually can’t be valued on the market and they’re not determined by GDP (Costanza et al. , 2009).

When developing the economy, it is needed to take in the natural resources from the surroundings. However the resources are limited. The excessive utilization of the recourses in the current monetary activities could bring the negative influence on the future development. And the economic progress is not ecological in this model. But this cannot be reflected by GDP. In the meantime, economic growth might lead to environmentally friendly disruption and pollution. These are also the costs of the monetary expansion. However, they aren’t included in GDP, since Mother Nature does not charge the price in humans’ monetary activities. Plus the stupid humans won’t analyze these costs until they pay for it.

The Substitutes of GDP

The restrictions of GDP mentioned previously have been exposed in practice and there were some other signals developed to displace GDP. These replacements of GDP make up the limitation of GDP in analyzing the welfare people get in the financial activities and help visitors to have a better understanding of the welfare people get from the market.

In this technique, there are main two directions for the measurement of the economical welfare. One course is to measure the total degree of the monetary welfare. This technique is simple to measure and the result could indicate the distinctions between different countries. The second direction is to get the per capita degree of the economic welfare. Both of these directions could be seen as the same one, since it is not hard to obtain the per capita results when people get the total level of the welfare.

The GNI-Lorenz curve

Since GDP cannot reflect the dissimilarities of the nationwide income syndication, the Lorenz Curve is then developed to point the condition of the income circulation. It really is developed in a coordinate system with the ratio of income and households as the axis. It displays how the riches of 1 country is allocated among the households. People could find the amount of the inequality in the income circulation per the camber of the Lorenz Curve (Helene, 2010).

The gross local income (GDI)

The gross home income or GDI is another signal used to indicate the condition of the economy. It calculates the income produced by the financial activities, which includes the payment of employees, the gross operating surplus and the gross mixed income. This indicator could be observed as the version of GDP computed in the income methodology (Fixler, Greenaway-McGrevy and Grimm, 2011). Since people’s welfare is largely affected by the income level, therefore the changes of GDI could reveal the situation of people’s welfare.

The physical standard of living index (PQLI)

The physical standard of living index is developed by David Morris in the mid-1970s. This index is contains three main indications, the literacy rate, the newborn morality rate and the indexed life expectancy. The common value of the three indicators is the amount of the physical quality of life. This index is simple to measure and understand. Nonetheless it does not represent the complete material of the welfare. As well as the excessive attention to the health indications reduces its ability to give a full explanation of the welfare level (Berenger and Verdier-Chouchane, 2007).


The gross home product can partially indicate the results of the economic activities. But it cannot reveal the financial welfare, the non-market monetary activities, the grade of the economic progress, and the environment cost and pollution. These limitations prevent GDP from measuring the economic welfare people get from the monetary activities. So that people are suffering from the new solutions to replace GDP to measure the financial welfare.


Berenger, V. and Verdier-Chouchane, A. , 2007. Multidimensional Steps of Well-Being: Quality lifestyle and Quality of Life across Countries. World Development, 35(7), pp. 1259-276.

Bridgman, B. , Dugan, A. , Lal, M. , Osborne, M. and Villones, S. , 2012. Accounting for Home Development in the National Accounts, 1965-2010. Study of Current Business, May, pp. 23-36

Costanza, R. , Hart, M. , Posner, S. and Talberth, J. , 2009. Beyond GDP: The Need for New Actions of Improvement. The Pardee Documents No. 4. Boston: Pardee Middle for the analysis of the Longer-Range Future.

Fixler, D. J. , Greenaway-McGrevy, R. and Grimm, B. T. , 2011, Revisions to GDP, GDI, and Their Major Components. Survey of Current Business, July, pp. 9-31.

Gutierrez, C. M. , Glassman, C. A. , Landefeld, J. T. and Marcuss, R. D. , 2007. Calculating the Current economic climate: A Primer on GDP and the National Income and Product Accounts. Washington, D. C. :ĐˆBureau of Economic Evaluation, U. S. Section of Business.

Helene, O. , 2010, Fitting Lorenz Curves. Economics Letters, 108, pp. 153-55.

Viet, V. Q. , 2009. GDP by Production Approach: AN OVER-ALL Introduction with Focus on a Economic Data Collection Construction. NY: US Statistics Division.

Viet, V. Q. , 2011. GDP by Last Expenditure Methodology an Operational Guide for Using Product Flow Approach. New York: United Nations Statistics Department.

Viet, V. Q. , 2012. Income Approach to GDP along with other Issues Relating to the Compilation of Home Income and Utilization Expenditures. International Workshop on Household Income, Ingestion and Full Accounting of the Households Sector, 26-28 March, Beijing. China.