Confronting GDP-based Economic Growth With Other Economic Growth Models


The debate on how to measure economic growth and assess economic growth figures is now half a century old. The positions of the so-called "optimists", defenders of unlimited economic growth, are often pitted against the "pessimists" who consider that there will come a time when the availability of natural resources will limit growth. In the subject "Introduction to Economics" of the Degree in Political Science at the University of Murcia, a cooperative work project was carried out to highlight the limitations of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the hegemonic indicator for measuring economic growth. Based on an explanation of the computation of GDP, students are confronted with other schools of thought were: "agrowth" and "degrowth". Two activities were proposed. First, groups of 4 or 5 students were formed. At random, each group is assigned the “agrowth”, “degrowth” or the “traditional” GDP defence. Therefore, each group may have to defend a position with which he or she disagrees, but must find solid arguments to support his or her theory. Secondly, a breakdown of the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda was made. Each group had to find statistical indicators to measure these goals for a given group of countries. Students presented their work and reflected on how the goals were reflected in the countries with the highest GDP per capita.

Author Information
Cristina Vilaplana-Prieto, University of Murcia, Spain

Paper Information
Conference: IICE2023
Stream: Higher education

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon