Recent Media Coverage

Nathan Gamester - Prosperity Index 2013 cropped

Over the last few weeks I have spoken to many journalists about the latest edition of the Prosperity Index. The global coverage has been extensive and so a full run down would be difficult. However, I thought I’d pull together a selection of articles either that I’ve authored or in which I’m quoted.

  • Four Major Changes to Global Prosperity
    Harvard Business Review (link)

It was Abraham Maslow who gave us that famous observation — “when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”  We all understand the implication: Anyone attempting to solve an ambiguous problem should start out in possession of a broad set of tools. It is curious, then, that we continue to fall into the trap of…

  • How Prosperous is the United States?  
    Foreign Policy, Democracy Lab (link)

The results are in! The Legatum Institute has just launched the 2013 Prosperity Index, a broad measurement of national success that looks beyond GDP. Norway tops the rankings (for the fifth year running) followed by Switzerland in second place and Canada in third. The United States ranks outside the top ten, placing 11th overall…

  • Painting in Purple 
    LI Blog (link)

The Prosperity Index merges both approaches and in so doing attempts to paint a purple world. We believe that a nation’s prosperity should be defined as much by human freedom, sound democracy, vibrant society, and entrepreneurial opportunity as it is by a growing economy…

  • Britain Lags Behind Lithuania
    Daily Mail (link) 

…The standard of education was based on factors including pupils-to-teacher ratio, the level of  secondary education reached by workers and enrolment in universities and other higher education. Programme director Nathan Gamester said: ‘In the UK’s instance, one of the biggest drivers in decline was the level of secondary education per worker. Secondary education completion rates have fallen, while those in Germany…

  • Development’s Democratic Drivers
    Project Syndicate (link)

 The just-released Legatum Prosperity Index points to another fundamental condition for success: good governance and the rule of law. As Program Director Nathan Gamester puts it, “It pays to be a democracy.” Indeed, as it stands, 27 of the world’s top 30 most prosperous countries are democracies. This is not true of the bottom 30…

  • U.S. No Longer Among 20 Most Economically Prosperous Countries
    US News & Global Report (link)

…Perhaps the best place to start is to look at what the ranking actually does. The point of the report is to “measure prosperity very broadly,” says Nathan Gamester, program director for The Prosperity Index. Usually, he says, “We tend to measure countries’ success based on GDP or narrow economic measures,” he says. “Our attempt here is to quantify potential prosperity or multidimensional prosperity.”…

  • Does Economic Growth Improve Wellbeing?
    Politics Home (link)

Experts welcomed the publication of the latest annual Legatum Prosperity Index yesterday, discussing whether economic success drives population wellbeing. Introducing the Index, Nathan Gamester, Programme Director for the Legatum Prosperity Index, explained that its strength lies in the incorporation of both economic and wellbeing factors in its data analysis. Merging these two means the Legatum Institute is able to produce a “more complete picture of national prosperity than any other tool of its kind” he believed…

  • These 10 Countries are the Most Prosperous in the World…
    Fast Company (link)

Norway, for the fifth year in a row, took first prize for most prosperous country in the world. “Sometimes, when you think of Norway, you think big government, high taxes, and a welfare state, but the prosperity index points to a different picture,” said Nathan Gamester, program director of Legatum’s prosperity index. “It has a very dynamic economy that’s good for entrepreneurs…It also has very close communities with high levels of trust,” he said…

  • Do Markets Deliver for Africa’s Poorest?
    Forbes (link)

“The Africa Rising narrative is often shaped around economic growth, and for a continent like Africa… that’s hugely important. But we also have to take into account issues like safety and security, corruption, the rising political difficulties as well,” says Nathan Gamester, the programme director for the Legatum Prosperity Index, which tracks social and economic wellbeing worldwide.

However, he warns, there are actually two competing narratives. A young, growing population is compelling for investors: between 2010 and 2020, the continent will add 122 million people to its workforce, according to McKinsey. Forty percent of Africa’s population is under 15.  But without jobs, a young population does not equal a demographic dividend. Tackling the jobs challenge is important – and it is currently not happening anywhere near fast enough.

“When you look at it in the stark economic terms, you see two potential outcomes. One is huge opportunity of back-to-back generations of workers who can raise levels of economic prosperity, contribute to state institutions like healthcare and pensions. But on the other side of the coin, there’s a huge threat as well. If you don’t provide those opportunities, then of course you have back-to-back generations of little opportunity.” Gamester references the World Development report from 2012, which highlighted the stark link between inequality, poverty and radicalisation.

  • Taiwan Drops Two Spots to 22nd in Prosperity Index
    Taipei Times (link)

…The UK-based Legatum Institute’s assessment official Nathan Gamester said that Taiwan should focus on improving government transparency to boost its performance, but added that the country has improved overall in the past five years…

  • Launch of the 2013 Global Prosperity Index
    Legatum Institute (link) 
Norway leads the world for the fifth year in a row as the Legatum Institute launches its 2013 Legatum Prosperity Index™, a unique and robust annual assessment of global wealth and wellbeing, which benchmarks 142 countries around the world in eight distinct categories.
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