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Well-Being – Resorces, Happiness and Capabilities:Theoretical Discussions and the Evidence from the Western Balkans


  • Bojana Radovanovic

    () (Institute of Economic Sciences, Belgrade, Serbia)


The aim of this paper is two-fold. On the one hand, it aims at presenting discussion on advantages and disadvantages of different approaches to well-being, its indicators and measures. On the other, it aims at presenting empirical evidence on the level of well-being of the peoples in the Western Balkan region. Although resources are necessary for the good-quality life, personal well-being cannot be fully assessed by looking only at the resources people have command of. The alternatives are to focus on people’s subjective well-being, then to create certain objective measure of well-being, as the one within human development approach, or the combination of the two, as within gross national happiness concept or happy planet approach. According to the available data on well-being in the countries of the Western Balkan region for 2012, Croatia is the only country in the region that belongs to a group of upper middle income countries, and which also records high human development. The others are middle income countries with medium level of human development. It is interesting noticing that Albania, which is with Bosnia and Herzegovina at the bottom of the list based on the gross national income (GNI) per capita and human development index (HDI), is region’s leader in the happy planet index (HPI), and among top 20 countries in the world based on this indicator, particularly due to low level of ecological footprint. According the data on the subjective well-being, we can notice that the greatest satisfaction with one’s life is experienced by the people in Croatia. It is also noticeable that reportedly more people in the Western Balkans experience positive feelings than they feel the negative..

Suggested Citation

  • Bojana Radovanovic, 2013. "Well-Being – Resorces, Happiness and Capabilities:Theoretical Discussions and the Evidence from the Western Balkans," Economic Analysis, Institute of Economic Sciences, vol. 46(3-4), pages 152-163.
  • Handle: RePEc:ibg:eajour:v:46:y:2013:i:3-4:p:152-163

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. António Portugal Duarte & João Sousa Andrade, 2012. "How the Gold Standard functioned in Portugal: an analysis of some macroeconomic aspects," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(5), pages 617-629, February.
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    More about this item


    Well-being; subjective well-being; happiness; capabilities; Western Balkans;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration


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