Gross Domestic Product


With real GDP growth in the one percent range and pay raises basically nonexistent, you might think that you are doomed to a stagnant or even declining standard of living. But consider all the services at your fingertips that add to your quality of life. Tasks once done face-to-face or on the phone—shopping, booking hotels, flights, and taxis—can now be done with the tap of a button. Your parents had to visit the bank to deposit a check or withdraw cash. Today, people take a picture of a check, and then electronically deposit, and send money to others.


Research the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the WCU online library and on the Internet. Governmental websites such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) may be useful. Write a two- to three-page paper in APA Style on GDP. Consider the following to guide your research and writing.

  • What does Martin Feldstein say is wrong with the growth rate of real GDP per person as a measure of the growth rate of the standard of living?
  • How does the price of a smartphone today compared with the 1991 prices of items it has replaced support Feldstein’s argument? How does the falling share of household production in total production modify Feldstein’s argument?
  • What other reasons not addressed in the news story make the growth rate of real GDP per person an incomplete measure of the standard of living?