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Jakarta Post

Indonesia must move beyond GDP to assess welfare, equality: Economists

  • Adrian Wail Akhlas

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, December 18, 2019   /  03:10 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Valeria Panu, 65, carries a plate of rice for her child in Pong Ruan village, East Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara. Not all Indonesians can enjoy their country’s above-average growth, with 25 million still living on less than $1 per day as of March this year, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data show.(JP/Markus Makur)

Indonesia needs to move beyond the gross domestic product (GDP) as the tool for measuring the nation's prosperity, as the indicator fails when it comes to assessing welfare and inequality, economists have said. The chairman of the Meeting of Minds Forum, Ismail Serageldin, said the country should not only rely on GDP growth to "fully assess the economy," citing the rise of inequality in several countries from Sweden to Somalia as the main reason that the GDP did not capture the entire economy of a nation. "The GDP has been growing in Indonesia but it does not measure the welfare of the citizens and inequality in society, among other things," Serageldin told the audience during his presentation at the Meeting of Minds Forum in Jakarta on Dec. 11, adding that the flaws in the GDP "are well-known", as it served as a flow measure rather than stock or w...