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Beyond GDP and Back: What is the Value-added by Additional Components of Welfare Measurement?

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  • Kassenboehmer, Sonja C
  • Schmidt, Christoph M

Abstract

Building on the Stiglitz report, a growing literature suggests to explore other aspects of human welfare apart from material well-being, such as job security, crime, health, environmental factors and subjective perceptions. To explore the additional information of these indicators, we analyze data on the macro level from the German Federal Statistical Office combined with micro level data from the German SOEP (1991-2008). Much of the variation in many well-being measures can indeed be captured well by GDP and the unemployment rate. These correlations are far from perfect, thus giving considerable hope that there is room for a broader statistical reporting.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8225.

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Date of creation: Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8225

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Keywords: beyond GDP; happiness; Sen; Stiglitz; sustainability; welfare measurement;

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References

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  1. Oswald, Andrew J, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1815-31, November.
  2. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
  3. Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2008. "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," CEPR Discussion Papers 6944, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Stockhammer, Engelbert & Hochreiter, Harald & Obermayr, Bernhard & Steiner, Klaus, 1997. "The index of sustainable economic welfare (ISEW) as an alternative to GDP in measuring economic welfare. The results of the Austrian (revised) ISEW calculation 1955-1992," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 19-34, April.
  5. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger & David Schkade & Norbert Schwarz & Arthur Stone, 2004. "Toward National Well-Being Accounts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 429-434, May.
  6. John Micklewright, 2002. "Social Exclusion and Children: A European view for a US debate," CASE Papers case51, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  7. Haisken-DeNew, John P. & Sinning, Mathias, 2007. "Social Deprivation and Exclusion of Immigrants in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 3153, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. England, Richard W., 1998. "Measurement of social well-being: alternatives to gross domestic product," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 89-103, April.
  9. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2006. "Should National Happiness be Maximized?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-26, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA), revised Mar 2007.
  10. M. Fleurbaey., 2012. "Beyond GDP: The Quest for a Measure of Social Welfare," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 2.
  11. Lars Osberg & Andrew Sharpe, 2005. "How Should We Measure The "Economic" Aspects Of Well-Being? ," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(2), pages 311-336, 06.
  12. Osberg, Lars & Sharpe, Andrew, 2002. "An Index of Economic Well-Being for Selected OECD Countries," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(3), pages 291-316, September.
  13. Eric Neumayer, 1999. "The ISEW -- not an Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 77-101, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Christoph M. Schmidt & Nils aus dem Moore, 2014. "Wie geht es uns? Die W3-Indikatoren für eine neue Wohlstandsmessung," RWI Positionen, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, pages 16, 03.
  2. Bargain, Olivier & Decoster, André & Dolls, Mathias & Neumann, Dirk & Peichl, Andreas & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2011. "Welfare, Labor Supply and Heterogeneous Preferences: Evidence for Europe and the US," IZA Discussion Papers 6102, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Johannes Hirata, 2012. "Zum systematischen Stellenwert von Wirtschaftswachstum: Ziel, Mittel oder weder noch?," Working Paper Series of the German Council for Social and Economic Data 198, German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD).

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