Writing Assignment

  1. Read the short editorial by Diane Coyle at http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/de/blog-de/is-gdp-still-useful.htm regarding using GDP as a measure of economic progress.
  2. Visit the website for the OECD Better Life Index: http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/#/11111111111
    1. Feel free to explore the website and familiarize yourself with the index. Click on the “Countries” drop-down tab and select “United States” (you may have to scroll down to see the U.S.). Read through the summary information and corresponding rankings for the categories included in the index.
  3. Answer all the following questions (see the criteria below for how to format your response):
    1. What is your general reaction to Diane Coyle’s comments and the usefulness of GDP as a measure for comparing countries’ progress/well-being? 
    2. Regarding the OECD Better Life Index, what surprises you about the rankings and comparisons regarding the U.S.?
    3. Are there other categories that should be incorporated into a more complete well-being index?
    4. Of the categories included in the index, which do you find most important when making a comparison across countries regarding well-being?


  1. Your response will clearly involve some amount of opinion, but do your best at thinking through and analyzing the questions fully before writing your answer.
  2. Carefully organize your writing before uploading your response.
  3. In 2-3 paragraphs (about 1 page) address the questions listed above under “task.” (1 paragraph; 5-6 sentences about the Coyle article and 1-2 paragraphs on the Better Life Index)
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