Going Beyond GDP to Nowcast Well-Being Using Retail Market Data

You are here

TitleGoing Beyond GDP to Nowcast Well-Being Using Retail Market Data
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsGuidotti, R, Coscia, M, Pedreschi, D, Pennacchioli, D
Book TitleAdvances in Network Science
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
AbstractOne of the most used measures of the economic health of a nation is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP): the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time. GDP, prosperity and well-being of the citizens of a country have been shown to be highly correlated. However, GDP is an imperfect measure in many respects. GDP usually takes a lot of time to be estimated and arguably the well-being of the people is not quantifiable simply by the market value of the products available to them. In this paper we use a quantification of the average sophistication of satisfied needs of a population as an alternative to GDP. We show that this quantification can be calculated more easily than GDP and it is a very promising predictor of the GDP value, anticipating its estimation by six months. The measure is arguably a more multifaceted evaluation of the well-being of the population, as it tells us more about how people are satisfying their needs. Our study is based on a large dataset of retail micro transactions happening across the Italian territory.
Research Project: