Wellbeing and happiness in OECD countries
GDP per capita is the most commonly used measure of a country’s economic success, yet it is frequently criticised as a guide to a nation’s wellbeing. A recently released study by the OECD considers some alternatives. The OECD uses illustrative calculations to ‘extend’ GDP to include leisure time, the sharing of income within households and income distribution. A key result of the study is that cross-country ranking based on these indicators and GDP per capita are generally similar, giving support to the conclusion that GDP per capita can serve as a reasonable proxy of overall wellbeing. Also, the OECD researchers find that survey-based data on happiness and life satisfaction across OECD countries are only weakly related to levels of GDP per capita. This article briefly explores the findings of the OECD’s study, and reflects on some of the difficulties in attempting to develop other indicators of wellbeing.
Volume (Year): (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
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- Romina Boarini & Åsa Johansson & Marco Mira d'Ercole, 2006. "Alternative Measures of Well-Being," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 476, OECD Publishing.
- Andrew Leigh & Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Happiness and the Human Development Index: Australia Is Not a Paradox," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 39(2), pages 176-184, 06.
- Alesina, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2004.
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Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2009-2042, August.
- Alesina, Alberto F & Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2001. "Inequality and Happiness: Are Europeans and Americans Different?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2877, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Di Tella, Rafael & Alesina, Alberto & MacCulloch, Robert, 2004. "Inequality and Happiness: Are Europeans and Americans Different?," Scholarly Articles 4553007, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Alberto Alesina & Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2001. "Inequality and Happiness: Are Europeans and Americans Different?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1938, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Alberto Alesina & Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2001. "Inequality and Happiness: Are Europeans and Americans Different?," NBER Working Papers 8198, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John F. Helliwell, 2006. "Well-Being, Social Capital and Public Policy: What's New?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages 34-45, 03.
- John Helliwell, 2005. "Well-Being, Social Capital and Public Policy: What's New?," NBER Working Papers 11807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Romina Boarini & Åsa Johansson & Marco Mira d'Ercole, 2006. "Alternative Measures of Well-Being," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 33, OECD Publishing. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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