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GDP fixation on growth drives population increase

The Financial Times seems to like my letters. This is the third one they have published since the beginning of this year. Janan Ganesh makes a good argument for why it’s a mistake to dismiss GDP as a measure of progress (Life & Arts, June 17/18). But he seems to be overlooking one crucial dimension of GDP: its fixation on growth and the role of population dynamics. People troubled by fertility rates below replacement level often want to raise birth rates as population growth generally equates with GDP growth. Yet a world of 8bn people is unlikely to be a better world with 9bn or 10bn in future. Economists should help citizens and policymakers find ways to increase household wellbeing around the world without producing more stuff that makes the world less habitable.


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