What possible essay questions can be asked related to national income?

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One possible question is, "What does one learn by knowing the national income of a country?" One can then look at measures of GDP and at wealth distribution. One can also evaluate two nations as to national income. For example, given two countries A and B, could one use national income to decide which country is "better?" While one can use national income to measure a nation's wealth, one can also look at other factors within the nation, such as climate, major industries, and other factors that may contribute to someone's decision to move there. A good question could also be as follows: "Is it possible to rank the value of a country based on national income alone?" By answering this question, the student should ideally state how national income is measured and also describe things that are not measured in calculating GDP.

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Perhaps the best essay question to ask on this subject today is one about whether national income is the best way to measure the well-being of a country.

So, the actual essay question might read something like this:

  • To what extent do you believe that a country with a higher national income per capita is better off than a country with a lower national income per capita.

This is a good essay question about this topic because it forces the answerer to know what this measure of national income is and to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of this measure.

A good answer might bring in issues such as the idea of "gross national happiness" that has been discussed in times since the big economic crash of late 2008.  It might also look at the importance of measures of income distribution, as opposed to absolute income levels.

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