Social Wealth Economic Indicators: A New System for Evaluating Economic Prosperity

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Organization: 
Center for Partnership Studies
Author: 
Indradeep Ghosh

Social Wealth Economic Indicators: A New System for Evaluating Economic ProsperityThis report introduces a new set of measures called Social Wealth Economic Indicators, or SWEIs. These measures inform us that care work, which is the work of caring for others, such as children or the sick and disabled or the elderly, yields significant economic value. Yet, this work is consistently not valued or undervalued in contemporary economic measurements such as Gross Domestic Product, or GDP. This is a significant problem because we are no longer living in an economy based on manufacturing, which is the kind of economy that measurements such as GDP were constructed for. Rather, the present economic scenario is one where knowledge and services yield the greatest value, and the essential element for thriving in the new knowledge-service era is high quality human capital.

The shortcomings of GDP have resulted in a host of new economic indicators being proposed in recent years, but these primarily focus on national comparisons of outputs, such as rates of poverty, infant mortality, educational attainment, or environmental conditions. That is, these new indicators ignore the critical matter of inputs, or what is needed for better outputs.

SWEIs fill these gaps. They are largely motivated by findings from neuroscience that the most effective approach to developing human capacity is supporting care and education in early childhood and throughout the life span. Accordingly, SWEIs shine a spotlight on the extent to which a country provides support for the care work performed not only in the market but also in homes.

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SWEIs reveal that there is a close link between the persistence of poverty and the undervaluation of care work, because the latter is usually considered “women’s work” and women are the mass of the poor all over the world. SWEIs also capture the present condition of the environment because economic prosperity depends on the ability of human beings to work in alliance with nature.

In these and other ways, SWEIs widen our lens of analysis to provide a more accurate perspective on the government and business policies required at this time of massive 3 These measures inform us that care work yields significant value, and yet is not valued in contemporary economic measurements. social, economic, and environmental change. They provide the missing information policy makers need to promote optimal human, economic, business, and social development in our new knowledge-service era.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
CORE INDICATORS
NAVIGATION INSTRUCTIONS FOR READERS

1. INTRODUCTION
   1.1 New Indicators for New Times
   1.2 Social Wealth & Social Wealth Economic Indicators (SWEIs)
   1.3 SWEI Economic Benefits
   1.4 SWEI Business Benefits
   1.5 SWEI Social Benefits
   1.6 Two Social Wealth Indicator Domains
   1.7 Implications for Policy: Interactions & Correlations
   1.8 Selected Social Wealth Indicators
   1.9 Why SWEIs are Different and Essential
2. HUMAN CAPACITY INDICATORS
   2.1 Caregiving Measures
      2.1.1 Paid and Unpaid Care Work
      2.1.2 The Value of Unpaid Care Work
      2.1.3 Time Spent on Unpaid Care Work
      2.1.4 Availability of Childcare and Early Education in OECD Countries
      2.1.5 Pay for Childcare Work in the US
      2.1.6 Direct-Care Workers in the US
      2.1.7 Social Care Workforce in the United Kingdom
      2.1.8 Long-Term Care in OECD Countries
   2.2 Education Measures
      2.2.1 Levels of Educational Attainment for OECD Countries
      2.2.2 Rates of Pre-School Enrolment in OECD Countries
      2.2.3 Enrolment in and Funding for US State Pre-K Programs 2011/2012
      2.2.4 Tertiary Educational Attainment in OECD Countries
   2.3 Health Measures
      2.3.1 Infant Mortality Rates in OECD Countries
      2.3.2 Maternal Mortality Rates
      2.3.3 Infant and Child Vaccination Rates
      2.3.4 Life Expectancy and Health-Adjusted Life Expectancy (HALE) Rates in OECD Countries
      2.3.5 Teen Births in Industrialized Countries
      2.3.6 Environmental Factors that Affect Health
   2.4 Social Connectivity & Cohesion Measures
      2.4.1 Percentage of Young People Active in Groups in OECD Countries
      2.4.2 Community Acceptance of Minority Groups in OECD Countries
      2.4.3 Incarceration and Recidivism Rates in Select Countries
   2.5 Environmental Measures
      2.5.1 Key Environmental Indicators for OECD Countries
      2.5.2 Consumption Measures for a Larger Cross-Section of Countries
      2.5.3 Greenhouse Gas Emissions in 150+ Countries
      2.5.4 Resource Depletion Measures
   2.6 Social Equity Measures
      2.6.1 Income and Wealth
      2.6.2 Gender
      2.6.3 Race/Ethnicity
      2.6.4 Other Social/Demographic Stratifications
   2.7 Entrepreneurship & Innovation Measures
      2.7.1 New Business Density in 120+ Countries
      2.7.2 Patents Filed By Residents in 80+ Countries
      2.7.3 Researchers in R&D in 60+ Countries
      2.7.4 High-Tech Exports in 110+ Countries
3. CARE INVESTMENT INDICATORS
   3.1 Government Investment in Care Work
      3.1.1 Government Investment in Families in OECD Countries
      3.1.2 Government Investment in Childcare and Early Education in OECD Countries
      3.1.3 Government Investment in Education
      3.1.4 Government Investment in Family Leave
      3.1.5 Government Investment in Long-Term Care in OECD Countries
      3.1.6 Government Investment in Care Leave in OECD Countries
   3.2 Business Investment in Care Work
      3.2.1 Employment-Protected Parental Leave in OECD Countries
      3.2.2 Percentage of Employers Providing Childcare or Other Care Support in OECD Countries
      3.2.3 Percentage of Employers Providing Flex-time in OECD Countries
      3.2.4 Extent of Employee Control over their Working Hours in OECD Countries
      3.2.5 Care Leave vs. Parental Leave in OECD Countries
   3.3 Public and Private Investment in Protecting the Environment
      3.3.1 Public Investment in Environmental Protection as a Percentage of GDP in European Countries
      3.3.2 Investment in Environmental Protection by Specialized Producers as a Percentage of GDP in European Countries
      3.3.3 Federal Spending on the Environment as a Percentage of GDP in the US
   3.4 Comparative Investment Data
      3.4.1 Education vs. Prison Costs in the US
      3.4.2 US Military Budget vs. Other Priorities
      3.4.3 Share of World Military Expenditures
4. IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICY: INTERACTIONS & CORRELATIONS
   4.1 Early Childhood Care
      4.1.1 US
      4.1.2 UK
      4.1.3 Denmark
      4.1.4 France
      4.1.5 Norway
      4.1.6 Germany
      4.1.7 Sweden
      4.1.8 Canada
      4.1.9 Argentina
      4.1.10 Uruguay
      4.1.11 India
      4.1.12 OECD’s Education Survey
   4.2 Parental Leave
      4.2.1 Benefits for Businesses
      4.2.2 Benefits for the Economy
      4.2.3 Benefits for the Family
   4.3 Elderly/Disabled Care
   4.4 Status of Women
      4.4.1 Global Gender Gap report
      4.4.2 Gender Equity and Quality of Life
      4.4.3 Gender Equity and Democracy
      4.4.4 Violence against Women
5. MOVING FORWARD: THE FUTURE OF SWEIs & RECOMMENDATIONS
   5.1 SWEIs as a Public Sector Tool on the State and Local Levels
   5.2 SWEIs as a Tool for Business
   5.3 SWEIs as a Tool for Highlighting the Dynamic Interactions between the Public and Private Sectors
   5.4 SWEIs as a Composite Index
   5.5 Recommendations
      5.5.1 Government Investment in Care Work
      5.5.2 Business Investment in Care Work
      5.5.3 Public and Private Investment in Protecting the Environment
      5.5.4 Comparative Investment
APPENDIX A: DATA SOURCES USED IN THIS REPORT
APPENDIX B: OTHER INDICES, DATA & INFORMATION SOURCES
APPENDIX C: FIGURES & TABLES

Year: 
2014
Format: 
Research report
Categories: 
International CED
Social Economy & Social Enterprise
Source: 
Org

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