On the quest for alternative economic indicators

Egypt ,Jordan ,Lebanon ,Morocco ,Tunisia

Main Researcher: Mohamed Sultan

Researchers according to the studies order:

Toufic Haddad, Wael Gamal, Dina Abdallah, Jamal Ouididi, Arbi Hafidi

Translated By: Sonia Farid

The question of developing a set of alternative economic indicators is both intriguing and complex, as there is no simple way to approach it. What is an indicator after all? In addition, what makes an ‘alternative indicator’ alternative? Why is it important to understand the relevance of indicators when discussing free trade, economic systems and their implications on politics and society? Without clarity on these aspects, there is a danger that discussion relies upon a set of implied meanings without there being enough precision to for this discussion to be helpful.

An indicator is defined as a tool for assessing the condition or level of an object. Indicators can be quantitative to shed light on the data and statistics related to the object being evaluated or qualitative so that the intangible characteristics of this object are studied, although they often depend on numbers.

Economic indicators are defined as a set of macroeconomic data usually used by analysts to analyze current or future investment possibilities or to assess the state of the economy as a whole. Economic indicators include but are not limited to the CPI, GDP, unemployment rates, and crude oil price.

In this context, this book attempts to present alternative indicators by relying on quantitative indicators that take into account the different economic identities of citizens. In the section of poverty measurements, for example, the research begins by reviewing official inflation measures and introducing alternative methodology and measurements of inflation based on different income groups. Income-based inflation is the influx of inflation measures related to the pattern of spending of the poor and hungry and can therefore be used to update the lines of poverty and hunger to review the history of these statistics and to indicate the current situation of poverty and hunger in the country under study.

The book deals with theoretical contributions on alternative economic indicators and the management of inclusion and exclusion policies and also on breaking the monopoly of GDP to measure economic activity and the search for alternatives in the way of efficiency and justice. In addition, there is a detailed study on poverty, hunger and inflation in Egypt, which was written by the main researcher, in which he developed a research methodology through which researchers in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco applied to their countries to provide different readings for these indicators. The book completes with a conclusion on “Structural Studies” as a necessary research direction in the Arab region to evaluate alternative economic indicators.

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