Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI)

The Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) research project is undertaking an assessment of the performance of the Californian and United States economies when accounting for a broad range of economic activities. The GPI measures the flow of net benefits of human economic activity in a region and period by aggregating approximately 25 variables into three components (economic, social, and environmental) and then into a single GPI value in constant dollars. GPI was developed over 2 decades ago and estimations of the GPI have been completed for over 70 countries and regions. Our project is the first GPI time-series study of the state of California, with initial results for 2010-2014, published in 2018. Now we have expanded the California GPI to cover the period from 1995 to 2016. In parallel, we estimate the GPI for the United States for 1995 to 2016, and compare the US-GPI to other economic performance metrics.

The GPI research team works under the guidance of graduate student Eli Lazarus (PhD program, Energy & Resources Group at UCB).

Research Team

The GPI research team for Fall 2019: Sanya Sethi, Rupsha Debnath, and Eli Lazarus.

Team members from prior semesters: Robert Hou, Emaan Siddique, Joshua Kim, Evan Yoshimoto, Ji Hun (Grace) Yeo, and Maria Kei Oldiges.


Brown, Clair, and Eli Lazarus. 2018. “Genuine Progress Indicator for California: 2010–2014.” Ecological Indicators 93 (October): 1143–51.

Working Papers

Lazarus, E, Brown, C. The Genuine Progress of the United States: Comparing a New Assessment with Previous Results. December 2019.

Lazarus, E, Brown, C. Is the US catching up to California? A calculation of the US and California’s Genuine Progress. December 2019.