GLOBAL MISERY INDEX (GMI)

GLOBAL MISERY INDEX (GMI)

Context: According to views of economists, Indian economy needs to be evaluated in terms of the global misery index (GMI)

STEVE HANKE - GLOBAL MISERY INDEX; INDIATHINKERS

What is it?

American economist Steve Hanke of Johns Hopkins University, who is an applied economist has popularised the GMI concept. He has ranked India a measly 44 out of 95 countries on GMI. The higher the index, the more is the misery felt by average citizens. The benchmark index measures people’s “misery score” instead of the conventional gross domestic product (GDP). The first such misery index was created by Arthur Okun in the 1960s and was equal to the sum of unemployment rate figures and inflation to provide a snapshot of the US economy. In recent times, it has broadened to include other economic indicators, such as bank lending ratesA variation of the original misery index is the Bloomberg misery index, which is developed by the online publication. Now used in frequent observations, variations of the original misery index have become popular as a means to gauge the overall health of the global economy. Methodology followed: The calculation in Global Misery Index is based on the three parameters namely,

  • Unemployment rate
  • Inflation rate
  • Lending rate

In order to calculate misery index, the annualised growth of GDP is subtracted from the sum total of these three rates. That gives a score which really defines how miserable people living in a particular geography are.  In short, “Misery Index = [(Unemployment Rate + Inflation Rate + Lending Rate) – Annualised Growth of GDP]”

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