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Realising the 'wellbeing dividend': An exploratory study using the Human Scale Development approach

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  • Guillen-Royo, Monica

Abstract

Despite claims about the existence of the 'wellbeing dividend', that sustainable and reduced consumption is compatible with increased wellbeing, there is little evidence that this dividend is being realised. The present research illustrates how through workshops addressing the cultural, economic, political and personal factors that impede or promote human need satisfaction, a given society can unravel its own pathway towards sustainability and wellbeing. This study draws on the wellbeing literature, particularly Max-Neef's approach to human needs and satisfiers. It uses an analysis of group discussions in Lleida, a medium-sized Catalonian city, to show how unsustainable consumption is associated with local hurdles for actualising needs and how sustainable consumption is linked to local descriptions of the utopian, need-actualising society. The manner of progressing towards need actualisation and sustainability is also addressed by participants; who identify the changes in norms, institutions and personal identity that need to be in place. The analysis reveals the interrelatedness of satisfiers and argues for a systemic perspective to address social transition towards sustainability and wellbeing at the local level.

Suggested Citation

  • Guillen-Royo, Monica, 2010. "Realising the 'wellbeing dividend': An exploratory study using the Human Scale Development approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 384-393, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2010:i:2:p:384-393
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jackson, Tim & Papathanasopoulou, Eleni, 2008. "Luxury or 'lock-in'? An exploration of unsustainable consumption in the UK: 1968 to 2000," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 80-95, December.
    2. Max-Neef, Manfred A., 2005. "Foundations of transdisciplinarity," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 5-16, April.
    3. Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Happiness: A Revolution in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062771.
    4. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
    5. Jackson, Tim & Marks, Nic, 1999. "Consumption, sustainable welfare and human needs--with reference to UK expenditure patterns between 1954 and 1994," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 421-441, March.
    6. Max-Neef, Manfred, 1995. "Economic growth and quality of life: a threshold hypothesis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 115-118, November.
    7. Maite Cuesta & Nuria Martín, 2009. "Part-time employment: a comparative analysis of Spain and the Netherlands," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 223-256, December.
    8. Sanne, Christer, 2002. "Willing consumers--or locked-in? Policies for a sustainable consumption," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 273-287, August.
    9. repec:aia:aiaswp:wp55 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Cruz, Ivonne & Stahel, Andri & Max-Neef, Manfred, 2009. "Towards a systemic development approach: Building on the Human-Scale Development paradigm," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 2021-2030, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Leßmann, Ortrud & Rauschmayer, Felix, 2012. "Re-conceptualising sustainable development on the basis of the capability approach: A model and its difficulties," UFZ Discussion Papers 03/2012, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
    2. repec:spr:soinre:v:133:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1399-x is not listed on IDEAS

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