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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Discuss the significance of Gross National Product (GNP) over Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in assessing a nation's economic well-being and its implications for policy formulation. (250 Words)

    20 Mar, 2024 GS Paper 3 Economy


    • Begin the answer by introducing the GNP and GDP.
    • Discuss the significance of GNP over GDP in assessing a nation's economic well-being.
    • Highlight its implications for policy formulation.
    • Conclude as per the requirement of keywords.


    Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measures the total value of all goods and services produced within a country's borders during a specific period, regardless of the nationality of those producing the goods and services whereas Gross National Product (GNP) measures the total value of all goods and services produced by a country's residents, whether they are located domestically or abroad, within a specific time frame.


    Significance of GNP over GDP:

    • Incorporation of Remittances:
      • GNP accounts for remittances sent by citizens working abroad. For countries with significant emigrant populations, remittances can be a substantial portion of the national income.
      • For instance, in countries like India and the Philippines, remittances play a significant role in boosting household income and thus contribute to the overall economic well-being.
    • Foreign Investment Earnings:
      • GNP includes earnings from investments made by residents in foreign countries. These earnings represent an important component of a nation's income.
      • For example, countries with large multinational corporations often benefit from significant foreign investment earnings, which contribute to their GNP.
    • National Income Perspective:
      • GNP provides a more accurate reflection of a nation's overall income since it considers the income earned by its citizens both domestically and abroad.
      • This perspective is vital for policymakers to understand the true economic well-being of the country's residents.
    • Comparative Analysis:
      • GNP allows for better international comparisons of economic performance since it includes the earnings of citizens regardless of their location.
      • This is particularly important for countries with large diaspora populations, as GDP alone may not fully capture their economic contributions.

    Implications for Policy Formulation:

    • Remittance Utilization:
      • Governments can formulate policies to facilitate the effective utilization of remittances for development purposes, such as investments in infrastructure, healthcare, education, and entrepreneurship.
      • Countries like Bangladesh and Nepal have implemented programs to channel remittances into productive sectors to foster economic growth.
    • Encouraging Outward Investments:
      • Policies aimed at encouraging outward investments by residents can contribute to increased foreign exchange earnings and bolster the nation's GNP.
      • Governments can provide incentives such as tax breaks or subsidies to encourage domestic firms to invest abroad, thereby expanding the country's economic footprint.
    • Balancing Trade Deficits:
      • A focus on GNP highlights the importance of earning income from abroad to offset trade deficits. Policymakers may prioritize strategies to promote exports, attract foreign direct investment (FDI).
      • It also enhances competitiveness in global markets to ensure a positive balance of payments and sustainably improve GNP.
    • Diversification of Income Sources:
      • Recognizing the significance of GNP underscores the importance of diversifying income sources beyond domestic production.
      • Governments can adopt policies to promote sectors such as tourism, outsourcing services, and international trade to enhance foreign income earnings and reduce reliance on any single source of revenue.


    While both GDP and GNP are essential indicators of economic performance, the inclusion of income earned abroad in GNP offers a more comprehensive understanding of a nation's economic well-being. Policy formulation guided by GNP considerations can lead to strategies that leverage remittances, foreign investments, and international trade to enhance overall prosperity and sustainable development.

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