Social Wealth Economic Indicators

Social Wealth Economic Indicators are divided into two domains

The conventional assumption has been that a strong economy and caring for people and nature are at odds. Social Wealth Economic Indicators (SWEIs) demolish that assumption. SWEIs show the benefits of investing in care, and the dismal consequences of devaluing it - not only for women (who still do most of the care work), children, the elderly, families, and the natural environment, but also for economic competitiveness. 

Social Wealth Economic Indicators are the missing metrics needed to empower women and girls, reduce the disproportionate poverty of women and communities of color, and, at the same time, strengthen the economy. In November 2014, we brought together a diverse group of panelists from business, philanthropy, economics, and care work advocacy who discussed how SWEIs support their work. We invite you to watch the panel discussion below, and to read more about each panelist here.

 

 

November 2014 Live Stream Event

November 2014 Live Stream Event


CEC

Public Policy

Public Policy

The Urgent Need for Social Wealth Economic Indicators (SWEIs)

The rapid shift from a manufacturing to a knowledge-service era is bringing unprecedented economic, social, and environmental challenges. Social Wealth Economic Indicators (SWEIs) provide the missing information leaders in government, business, and civil society need to meet these challenges.

SWEIs measure economic health and quality of life, recognizing that both are prerequisites for robust businesses, economic competitiveness, and fulfilling lives. They show how quality of life and economic health and competitiveness interrelate to ensure human capacity development -- the main ingredient for personal, business, and national success in our new knowledge-service technological era. They demonstrate how seemingly intractable problems, including the suffering caused by chronic poverty - especially the disproportionate poverty of women -  lack of support of care for children and the elderly, and racial and gender inequities, can be solved.

SWEIs provide the building blocks for a more sustainable and caring economy. They demonstrate the substantial financial return from caring for people and nature – and the enormous costs of not doing so. They show where the US stands in comparison with other nations, and point the way to more effective government, business, and civil society investments.

Who Benefits from SWEIs?

WOMEN AND FAMILIES

  • SWEIs bring together data demonstrating the financial and social ROI from the work of care primarily performed by women for low wages in the market and no remuneration in families -- a devaluation that largely accounts for women's and children's disproportionate poverty worldwide.
  • SWEIs promote healthy family/employment balance by substantiating the benefits of paid sick leave, paid parental leave, flex time, high quality childcare and early childhood education, and innovative policies such as caregiver tax credits for home caregivers.
  • SWEIs are essential for gender budgeting in policies, showing that woman and family-friendly policies are not only a major women's issue but also a key economic issue

CAREGIVERS

  • SWEIs show the differential between average hourly wages of all workers versus average hourly wages of household workers, across countries, and that this gap is growing in many developed economies, with adverse consequences for the workers, their families, the economy, and society. SWEIs highlight the wage differential between childcare workers and other similarly skilled workers, across developed nations

BUSINESS

  • With the rapid shift from a manufacturing-based to a knowledge/service-based economy, economic and business prosperity largely hinge on matters ignored by conventional measures such as GDP.
  • Because success in our new technological era largely hinges on the quality of our human capital, the Social Wealth Economic Indicators (SWEIs), pioneered by Dr. Riane Eisler and colleagues at the Center for Partnership Studies in collaboration with the Urban Institute and other experts, measure both the state of our human capital (outputs) in terms of factors such as levels of education and health, (outputs) and the factors required for high quality human capital (inputs), such as support for care work, early childhood education, gender and racial equity – and how these impact individual, business, and economic capacity building.

THE NATIONAL ECONOMY

  • SWEIs demonstrate that care work is key to human capacity development, which in turn is key to both individual and national economic success in our knowledge/service age.
  • SWEIs are unique by measuring not only outputs (where a nation stands) but also inputs (funding allocations leading to better outputs or outcomes).

Social Wealth Economic Indicators are divided into two domains

Social Wealth Economic Indicators are divided into two domains:

  • Human Capacity Indicators measure the degree of human capacity development – both for economic success and for healthy and meaningful lives, including development of our capacities for caring and creativity individually, in families, and in groups and organizations. Human capacity indicators pay special attention to social equity, keeping in mind studies showing that addressing inequity makes for a more productive, harmonious, and healthy society.
  • Care Investment Indicators measure our national investment (government at all levels, business, and nonprofit sectors) in caring for people so as to promote their optimal development and meet their human needs and our nation’s need for success in the post-industrial knowledge/service age.

Introduction to the Indicators

Introduction to the Indicators

The conceptual framework for the development of Social Wealth Economic Indicators is described in the report National Indicators and Social Wealth and is based on meetings of economists and other experts convened by the Center for Partnership Studies and the Urban Institute in 2012 in Washington DC.

These new indicators draw from both earlier and new scientific findings, including findings from neuroscience showing that whether or not people grow up to develop their capacities both for economic success and for healthy and meaningful lives – that is, whether they can be counted as “high quality human capital – heavily hinges on the quality of care and education children receive early on.

While Social Wealth Economic Indicators pay particular attention to the importance of caring and caregiving, they measure a wide range of factors, from those affecting the health and education of a nation’s people to those impacting the state of its natural resources and environment. They show how these factors interact, and point to what is needed to move forward.

Human Capacity Core Indicators

See Human Capacity Core Indicators

Human Capacity Core Indicators

Measure the degree of human capacity development – both for economic success and for healthy and meaningful lives, including development of our capacities for caring and creativity individually, in families, and in groups and organizations. Human capacity measures pay special attention to social equity, keeping in mind studies showing that addressing inequity makes for a more productive, harmonious, and healthy society. These measures show where the United States stands in comparison to other nations, especially other developed nations, and include, but are not limited to:
Indicator Name Section in report
Subcategory Country Coverage
1. Time spent on Unpaid Care Work
2.1.3.a
Caregiving OECD
2. Enrollment rates in Childcare Centers, 3-5 years
2.1.4.a
Caregiving OECD
. Long-Term Care wages
2.1.8.b
Caregiving OECD
4. Educational Attainment
2.2.1
Education OECD
5. Infant Mortality rates
2.3.1
Health OECD
6. Maternal Mortality rates (Risk of Maternal Death)
2.3.2.a
Health Various (180+ Countries)
7. Teen Births
2.3.5
Health 21 Developed Countries
8. Incarceration and Recidivism rates
2.4.3
Social Connectivity and Cohesion19 Countries
9. Ecological Deficit/Reserve
2.5.2.a
Environment Various (150+ Countries)
10. Carbon Dioxide Emissions
2.5.2.c
Environment Various (200+ Countries)
11. Child Poverty
2.6.1.d
Social Equity OECD
12. Gender Gap in Earnings
2.6.2.a
Social Equity OECD
13. Global Gender Gap Index
2.6.2 f
Social Equity Various (130+ Countries)
14. American Human Development Index
2.6.3.l
Social Equity U.S.
15. NUL Equality Index
2.6.3.m
Social Equity U.S.
16. Researchers in R&D
2.7.3
Entrepreneurship and InnovationVarious (160+ Countries)

 

Care Investment Core Indicators

See Care Investment Core Indicators

Care Investment Core Indicators

Measure our national investment (government at all levels, business, and nonprofit sectors) in caring for people so as to promote their optimal development and meet their human needs and our nation’s need for success in the post-industrial knowledge/service age. These measures show where the United States stands in comparison to other nations, especially other developed nations, and include, but are not limited to:
Indicator Name Section in report
Subcategory Country Coverage
1. Public Spending on Family Benefits
3.1.1.a
Gov’t Investment in Care work OECD
2. Percentage of GDP for Public Funding for Childcare and Early Education
3.1.2.a
Gov’t Investment in Care work OECD
3. Paid Family Work Leave
3.1.4.b
Gov’t Investment in Care work OECD
4. Government investment in Long-Term Care
3.1.5
Gov’t Investment in Care work OECD
5. Employer Support for Childcare
3.2.2
Business Investment in Care work OECD
6. Extent of Employee Control over Working Times
3.2.4
Business Investment in Care work OECD
7. Public investment in environmental protection as % of GDP
3.3.1 & 3.3.3
Investment in the Environment U.S., Europe
8. Education versus prison costs in the US
3.4.1
Comparative Investment DataU.S.

 

Foundational Reports

Foundational Reports

2007 - Riane Eisler's The Real Wealth of Nations

real-wealth-book

In 2007, Dr. Riane Eisler laid the groundwork for creating a more caring economy with her book, The Real Wealth of Nations. This powerful book proposes that we need a radical reformulation of economics, one that supports caring and caregiving at the individual, organizational, societal, and environmental levels.

Get The Book

2010 - Urban Institute and CPS, The State of Society: Measuring Economic Success and Human Wellbeing

The State of Society

In the Urban Institute's report, The State of Society: Measuring Economic Success and Human Well-Being, Erwin de Leon and coauthor Elizabeth T. Boris identified 14 categories of indicators that together provide a more accurate and complete picture of how a society and its economy are faring.

Read Full Report

2012 - Urban Institute and CPS, National Indicators and Social Wealth

National Indicators and Social Wealth- 2010

This report by the Center for Partnership Studies and the Urban Institute summarized the proceedings of the May Workshop, focusing on two key questions: 1) How can national economic success and human well-being be better assessed?; and 2) How can drivers for human capacity development throughout the human life course best be identified?
Participants considered the strengths and weaknesses of existing indicators to measure social wealth, identified missing indicators that need to be developed, and made recommendations for the development and placement of social wealth economic indicators in the proposed U.S. National Key Indicators System as well as within national and satellite accounts at federal agencies (e.g., the U.S. Department of Commerce) and at the state and local levels. National Indicators and Social Wealth recommends “a coordinated effort that can change the way we think about and measure our economy, providing more realistic tools to navigate a very different social, political and economic reality that existed at the birth of the GDP”.

Read Full Report