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Human Well-being and Economic Well-being: What Values Are Implicit in Current Indices?

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  • Lars Osberg
  • Andrew Sharpe

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Abstract

This paper develops an Index of Economic Well-being (IEWB) for the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, Norway and Sweden for the period 1980 to 2001 which recognizes four components: Current effective per capita consumption flows; Net societal accumulation of stocks of productive resources; Income distribution; and Economic security. Since the Human Development Index uses GDP per capita to measure “command over resources? which implicitly makes the strong value judgment that inequality and insecurity do not matter, the paper demonstrates that a better measure of “command over resources?has a significant effect on the trend and level of the HDI ?particularly for the United States, which slips to last place among the countries examined.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for the Study of Living Standards in its series CSLS Research Reports with number 2003-04.

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Date of creation: Aug 2003
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Handle: RePEc:sls:resrep:0304

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Keywords: Well-being; Wellbeing; Well Being; Unemployment; Human Capital; Unemployment Insurance; IEWB; ILMW; Inequality; Poverty; Insecurity; Economic Security; Health; Health Expenditure; Single Parent; Single-parent; Family Break-up; Retirement; Old Age; Human Development Index; HDI; Command Over Resources; Human Capital; Consumption; Household Production; Leisure; Wealth; Capital Stock; Environmental Damage; R&D Stock; Research and Development; R&D; Natural Resources; Unpaid Work; Linear Scaling Technique; Social Indicator; Indicator; Weighting; Weights;

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References

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  1. Burkhauser, Richard V & Smeeding, Timothy M & Merz, Joachim, 1996. "Relative Inequality and Poverty in Germany and the United States Using Alternative Equivalence Scales," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 42(4), pages 381-400, December.
  2. Sudhir Anand & Amartya Sen, 2000. "The Income Component of the Human Development Index," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 83-106.
  3. Lars Osberg & Andrew Sharpe, 2002. "International Comparisons of Trends in Economic Well-being," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 349-382, June.
  4. Keuning, Steven, 1998. "A Powerful Link between Economic Theory and Practice: National Accounting [Review Article]," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(3), pages 437-46, September.
  5. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  6. William D. Nordhaus & James Tobin, 1971. "Is Growth Obsolete?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 319, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    • William D. Nordhaus & James Tobin, 1972. "Is Growth Obsolete?," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Research: Retrospect and Prospect Vol 5: Economic Growth, pages 1-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • William D. Nordhaus & James Tobin, 1973. "Is Growth Obsolete?," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Economic and Social Performance, pages 509-564 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Phipps, Shelley & Garner, Thesia I, 1994. "Are Equivalence Scales the Same for the United States and Canada?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 40(1), pages 1-17, March.
  8. William D. Nordhaus, 2002. "The Health of Nations: The Contribution of Improved Health to Living Standards," NBER Working Papers 8818, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Rafael Di Tella & Robert J. MacCulloch & Andrew J. Oswald, 2003. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 809-827, November.
  10. Osberg, L & Xu, K, 1997. "International Comparisons of Poverty Intensity : Index Decomposition and Bootstrap Inference," Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive 97-03, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.
  11. Osberg, L. & Sharpe, A., 1998. "An Index of Economic Well-being for Canada," Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive 98-08, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.
  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. Michael Hagerty & Robert Cummins & Abbott Ferriss & Kenneth Land & Alex Michalos & Mark Peterson & Andrew Sharpe & Joseph Sirgy & Joachim Vogel, 2001. "Quality of Life Indexes for National Policy: Review and Agenda for Research," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 55(1), pages 1-96, July.
  14. Osberg, L., 2000. "Long Run Trends in Economic Inequality in Five Countries - a Birth Cohort View," Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive 2000-1, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.
  15. Anthony C. Atkinson, 2003. "Income Inequality in OECD Countries: Data and Explanations," CESifo Working Paper Series 881, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Lars Osberg, 1998. "Economic Insecurity," Discussion Papers 0088, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Andrew Sharpe & Jeremy Smith, 2005. "Measuring the Impact of Research on Well-being: A Survey of Indicators of Well-being," CSLS Research Reports 2005-02, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
  2. Andrew Sharpe, 2004. "Literature Review of Frameworks for Macro-indicators," CSLS Research Reports 2004-03, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
  3. Lars Osberg & Andrew Sharpe, 2003. "An Index of Labour Market Well-being for OECD Countries," CSLS Research Reports 2003-05, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, revised Jan 2004.
  4. Pilar Murias & Fidel Martinez & Carlos Miguel, 2006. "An Economic Wellbeing Index for the Spanish Provinces: A Data Envelopment Analysis Approach," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 77(3), pages 395-417, 07.
  5. Jaya Krishnakumar, 2007. "Going Beyond Functionings to Capabilities: An Econometric Model to Explain and Estimate Capabilities," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 39-63.

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