Does Money Buy Me Love? Testing Alternative Measures of National Wellbeing
AbstractMany aggregate measures of wellbeing and sustainability exist to guide policy-makers. However, the power of these aggregate measures to predict objective wellbeing outcomes has received little comparative testing. We compile and compare a range of aggregate wellbeing measures including: material measures (e.g. Gross Domestic Product per capita), surveyed measures (e.g. life satisfaction) and composite measures (e.g. Human Development Index) covering a range of countries. We test the predictive power of wellbeing measures for an objective indicator of how people value countries’ relative attractiveness. The objective indicator is net migration over a fifty year timespan, indicating people’s revealed preference (re)location choices. The paper examines relationships amongst cross-country wellbeing and sustainability measures; and examines how New Zealand compares with other countries according to these measures. Based on models of spatial (dis)equilibrium and migration, we present tests of the predictive power of alternative aggregate measures for international migration outcomes. We find that both material and life satisfaction outcomes are important determinants of the choice to migrate.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Motu Economic and Public Policy Research in its series Working Papers with number 12_09.
Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
aggregate wellbeing; life satisfaction; gross domestic product; migration;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
- E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
- J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
- R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-08-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-HAP-2012-08-23 (Economics of Happiness)
- NEP-MIG-2012-08-23 (Economics of Human Migration)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Philip McCann & Jacques Poot & Lynda Sanderson, 2008.
"Migration, Relationship Capital and International Travel: Theory and Evidence,"
CReAM Discussion Paper Series
0808, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
- Philip McCann & Jacques Poot & Lynda Sanderson, 2010. "Migration, relationship capital and international travel: theory and evidence," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(3), pages 361-387, May.
- Philip McCann & Jacques Poot & Lynda Sanderson, 2008. "Migration, Relationship Capital and International Travel: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers in Economics 08/12, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
- Ferreira, Susana & Vincent, Jeffrey R, 2005. "Genuine Savings: Leading Indicator of Sustainable Development?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(3), pages 737-54, April.
- Susana Ferreira & Kirk Hamilton & Jeffrey R. Vincent, 2008. "Comprehensive Wealth and Future Consumption: Accounting for Population Growth," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(2), pages 233-248, May.
- Abdallah, Saamah & Thompson, Sam & Marks, Nic, 2008. "Estimating worldwide life satisfaction," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 35-47, March.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tui Head).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.