1. GDP Data Analysis
Locate current data for GDP for the U.S. (Go to the Bureau of Economic Analysis Web site. Click on Interactive Data Tables, then National Income and Product Accounts, and then Frequently Requested NIPA Tables to get to Table 1.1.1). What are the annual growth rates for the U.S. economy over the last 5 – 10 years? Has GDP been growing or declining over this time-frame? Explain what factors might have caused GDP to increase or decrease over this time-frame.
Next, what are the quarterly growth rates (annualized) for the U.S. economy for the last six quarters? What trends do you notice in these numbers? Does anything surprise you? Comment on GDP growth for the different components of GDP (C, I, G, and Xn) over this time frame?
2. GDP and Economic Well-being
Then read the following four articles and answer these questions:
Is GDP a good measure of economic well-being? Why, why not? What are its limitations? What are some factors that would lead to higher GDP in the U.S. but do not improve well-being?
The Economist Measuring What Matters
The Donella Meadows Archive Why Should We Be Glad when the GNP Goes Up? http://www.sustainabilityinstitute.org/dhm_archive/index.php?display_article=vn184gnped
The Donella Meadows Archive Gross National Happiness Measures Quality Of Life:
AMERICA 2.0: From Private Greed to Public Service What’s wrong with the GDP?