How might the quality of life be adversely affected by an increase in GDP?

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sillemon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The gross domestic product (GPD) of a country indicates the level of production within that country. An increase in the GDP denotes an upsurge in production, hence economic prosperity. Consequently, a surge in GDP is likely to affect variables such as investment, government revenue and expenditure. Similarly, the level of exports and imports will also be affected. Since the rise indicates an improvement in production and consumption, investors will be willing to invest in a country where there is certainty. For the government, extra revenue will be attained from production. Subsequently, the government will be in a position to invest in public goods such as infrastructures and schools. An upswing in production also implies that the country’s net exports are growing.

Conversely, economic growth at times results in several adverse effects, especially regarding the externalities involved, inequalities in the level of income, increased work stress, environmental degradation, corruption and crimes. Growth in GDP usually benefits the owners of the resources by increasing their income while their laborers are worse off in relative terms, implying that there is a negative correlation. Higher production also would lead to externalities such as pollution through CO2 emissions, which would result in environmental degradation and an adverse quality of life. Similarly, improved GDP is attributed to factors that contribute to higher production like increased working hours that consequently further work stress; thus, their quality of life will be deadlocked.