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Beyond GDP and Back: What is the Value-added by Additional Components of Welfare Measurement?

  • Kassenboehmer, Sonja C
  • Schmidt, Christoph M

Building on the Stiglitz report, a growing literature suggests to explore other aspects of human welfare apart from material well-being, such as job security, crime, health, environmental factors and subjective perceptions. To explore the additional information of these indicators, we analyze data on the macro level from the German Federal Statistical Office combined with micro level data from the German SOEP (1991-2008). Much of the variation in many well-being measures can indeed be captured well by GDP and the unemployment rate. These correlations are far from perfect, thus giving considerable hope that there is room for a broader statistical reporting.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8225.

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Date of creation: Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8225
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  1. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger & David Schkade & Norbert Schwarz & Arthur Stone, 2004. "Toward National Well-Being Accounts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 429-434, May.
  2. Marc Fleurbaey, 2009. "Beyond GDP: The Quest for a Measure of Social Welfare," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1029-75, December.
  3. Lars Osberg & Andrew Sharpe, 2005. "How Should We Measure The "Economic" Aspects Of Well-Being? ," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(2), pages 311-336, 06.
  4. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2008. "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," CESifo Working Paper Series 2394, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. England, Richard W., 1998. "Measurement of social well-being: alternatives to gross domestic product," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 89-103, April.
  6. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2009. "Should National Happiness be Maximized?," Chapters, in: Happiness, Economics and Politics, chapter 14 Edward Elgar.
  7. John Micklewright, 2002. "Social exclusion and children: a European view for a US debate," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6430, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
  9. John P. Haisken-DeNew & Mathias Sinning, 2007. "Social Deprivation and Exclusion of Immigrants in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 63, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  10. Stockhammer, Engelbert & Hochreiter, Harald & Obermayr, Bernhard & Steiner, Klaus, 1997. "The index of sustainable economic welfare (ISEW) as an alternative to GDP in measuring economic welfare. The results of the Austrian (revised) ISEW calculation 1955-1992," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 19-34, April.
  11. Oswald, A.J., 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Papers 18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  12. Eric Neumayer, 1999. "The ISEW -- not an Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 77-101, September.
  13. 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.
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