Going Beyond GDP with a Parsimonious Indicator: Inequality-Adjusted Healthy Lifetime Income

David E. Bloom, Victoria Y. Fan, Vadim Kufenko, Osondo Ogbuoji, Klaus Prettner, Gavin Yamey

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


Per capita GDP has limited use as a well-being indicator because it does notcapture many dimensions that imply a “good life”, such as health and equality ofopportunity. However, per capita GDP has the virtues of being easy to interpret andto calculate with manageable data requirements. Against this backdrop, there is aneed for a measure of well-being that preserves the advantages of per capita GDP,but also includes health and equality. We propose a new parsimonious indicatorto fill this gap, and calculate it for 149 countries. This new indicator could beparticularly useful in complementing standard well-being indicators during theCOVID-19 pandemic. This is because (i) COVID-19 predominantly affects olderadults beyond their prime working ages whose mortality and morbidity do notstrongly affect GDP, and (ii) COVID-19 is known to have large effects on inequalityin many countries.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVienna Yearbook of Population Research
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 303010 Health economics
  • 502018 Macroeconomics
  • 504006 Demography

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