This is our introductory PowerPoint slide show. Asking the question – What’s the Economy For, Anyway? – this presentation examines the various ways that we analyze our economic system. Our present economic system is compared with that of the not so distant past and with that of other industrialized states. While the United States ranks high in traditional economic measures, we see that it ranks low in many other measures such as life expectancy, infant mortality, public transportation, vacation time, and environmental health. The show is designed to stimulate discussion. Because of the data size of the show, it has been divided into three parts for easier downloading. We recommend that you save the three parts to your own file after downloading.
Measuring Social and Economic Development: Beyond the GDP This PowerPoint presentation takes a hard look at the GDP and challenges the notion that it is an effective tool for measuring the health of an economy. Along the way, the presentation explains the various uses of the most common economic indicators and looks at alternative indicators. The show provides embedded links to videos and other useful Web sites, including the fascinating “Beyond GDP” initiative of the European Union. Links to various alternative economic indices are provided. Additional comments and links are provided in the “Notes” at the bottom of the page in Edit view. You can save the presentation to your own files after downloading.
Measuring Social and Economic Development: A Look at the Human Development Index (HDI) This PowerPoint slide show briefly looks at how indices function, looking for example at the Wind Chill and Big Mac indices, before introducing students to the Human Development Index, the best known composite index of social and economic well-being. The United States’ ranking on the HDI is compared to other countries and asks students to discuss and evaluate the ranking. Is there, for example between the United States’ first place ranking in GDP and its much lower ranking in HDI? Links to a sampling of other development indices are provided. Additional comments and links are provided in the “Notes” at the bottom of the page in Edit view.