University of Vermont

Gund Institute for Ecological Economics

The Genuine Progress Indicator Picks Up Steam

The Vermont Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), developed by the Gund Institute, will be reported to the Vermont State Legislature in July.  In the meantime coverage and information about alternative indicators to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is picking up steam in the local and national media. 

The Burlington Free Press covered the upcoming release last week in Tim Johnson’s piece “Better off?". Gund Fellows Jon Erickson and Eric Zency are quoted in the article, as is Senator Anthony Pollina who was the chief sponsor of Act 113 authorizing the use of GPI as a complement to Vermont’s use of Gross State Product.  Pollina’s quote in the article sums up one of the key arguments for alternative indicators, ““I was having my breakfast, and I opened up the newspaper, and there was an article that said Vermont had one of the strongest gross domestic products or gross state products of any state in the country,” he said. “So that seemed pretty good, that Vermont had such a strong economy. “Then I turned the page,” he continued, “and it said hunger had increased by a third in the state over the last year. That got me thinking about the need for a different kind of indicator that would put us more in touch with reality.””

Vermont’s GPI efforts were mentioned in the Times Argus’ coverage of the Slow Living Summit in early June.  Maryland’s recent GPI meeting was covered by in a piece “How Maryland is Envisioning an Economic Future Beyond GDP”. Finally, Forbes Magazine published an article, “Does High GDP Mean Economic Prosperity?” covering some of the key differences between GPI and GDP. 

Stay tuned as Gund continues to further the conversation with the release of Vermont’s GPI this July.