Date of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Economics, Mathematics, Philosophy

First Advisor

Mark Setterfield


There exists an abundance of economic indicators and ways to interpret macroeconomic data. While the rates of unemployment, inflation, GDP growth, etc all give important insights into the performance of an economy, all these indicators are, at best, incomplete ones that fail to look at the bigger picture of the economy as a whole.

Several macroeconomists have looked into the development of an Index of Macroeconomic Performance (IMP) that provides a comprehensive account of economic performance, the formulation of which allows for straightforward comparisons of macroeconomic performance internationally and intertemporally. Conventional indicators like unemployment, inflation, and GDP growth are taken into account, but so are some less conventional indicators, such as equality and security, as inspired from Economics of Happiness studies. Special attention must be given to the different weights given to the index components in constituting the index, as different weighting schemes could result in drastically different interpretations of and conclusions about economic performance for the same time period. These weights are also taken from Economics of Happiness studies. In addition, special emphasis will be placed on examining the IMP in light of economic performance during and after the great recession.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Economics, mathematics, and philosophy.