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Econ305 Full Course [ All Discussions and All Assignments ]

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2016 07:49 AM
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GDP and Per Capita GDP are two of the basic and most widely used economic measures. They are broad measures that provide interesting and useful information about a nation's economy as a whole. And Per Capita GDP is the standard measure of the Standard of Living.
But they are often criticized for not being a measure of Quality of Life. (What ever that means as there is no standard definition of Quality of Life.) However, GDP was never intended to measure "Quality of Life", just output and the income that the production process produces.
In addition to the information in the text, review the two handouts linked below.
Then share your thoughts on the following:
Is GDP an adequate measure of national economic activity?
Should GDP be replaced by a new Quality of Life Measure?
Or should there be separate measures of economic output (GDP) and Quality of Life?
Or some combination.
The learning objectives are two fold: to understand what GDP measures and what it doesn't measure and to be aware of the on-going debate about GDP vs. the Quality of Life.
GDP Overview Presentation
Quality of Life Discussion Paper

Another important measure of how an economy is performing is the unemployment rate. But there is more to the unemployment rate than just the headline rate reported on the news.
In particular we are going to look at the U3 rate (the Headline rate), the U6 rate and the labor force participation rate.
Go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
On their home page from the menu on the right hand side of the page "Latest Numbers" click on Unemployment Rate. On the next page click on "Employment Situation Summary". The December 2014 report should be available. Read the report. Then using the tables linked from the bottom of the report find:
The U3 rate;
The U6 rate; and,
The labor force participation rate....


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