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Phil Lawn: A GPI Case Study - How South Australia Out-Performs The Rest Of Australia

  • BRADLEY FORUM, BOB HAWKE PRIME MINISTERIAL CENTRE, UNI SA 55 North Terrace Adelaide Australia (map)

A GPI Case Study - How South Australia Out-Performs The Rest Of Australia

ASSOCIATE PROF. PHIL LAWN

Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, University of SA and Wakefield Futures Group

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A growing number of observers have recognised that conventional economic measures, such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross State Product (GSP), inadequately account for a large number of the economic, social, and environmental benefits and costs of economic activity. A more appropriate indicator of economic welfare exists in the form of a Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI).

This presentation reveals the results of a GPI study on South Australia spanning a thirty-year period from 1986 to 2016. Over this period, the economic welfare of the average South Australian increased by 30.3% from $33,190 to $43,249 per year. Over the same thirty-year period, South Australia’s per capita GSP increased by 61.6% from $36,612 to $59,183 per year. This suggests that the growth in South Australia’s per capita GSP significantly overstated its rate of genuine progress.

On a brighter note, the results of this study indicate that the average South Australian was $3,000 per year better off in 2016 than in 2011 and around $2,000 per year better off than the average person living elsewhere in Australia. Indeed, the per capita GPI of South Australia has exceeded that of the Rest-of-Australia (Australia minus South Australia) since 1998.

The recent rise in South Australia’s per capita GPI can be attributed to an improvement in the state’s distribution of income, a steep rise in private-sector and public-sector consumption, an increase in the services generated by the infrastructural assets provided by governments, and the containment of environmental costs.

This event, presented by Prof Phil Lawn, is part of a series exploring sustainable futures.

Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, University of SA and Wakefield Futures Group

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