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

Author

Listed:
  • Lars Osberg
  • Andrew Sharpe

    ()

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Lars Osberg & Andrew Sharpe, 2003. "Human Well-being and Economic Well-being: What Values Are Implicit in Current Indices?," CSLS Research Reports 2003-04, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
  • Handle: RePEc:sls:resrep:0304
    as

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    File URL: http://www.csls.ca/reports/10-03-02_wider.pdf
    File Function: (A revised and updated version ?more recent than this CSLS Research Report version ?is forthcoming in the Review of Income and Wealth.)
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.csls.ca/iwb/oecd.asp
    File Function: Link to a website with underlying databases and further information.
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
      • William D. Nordhaus & James Tobin, 1972. "Is Growth Obsolete?," NBER Chapters,in: Economic Research: Retrospect and Prospect, Volume 5, Economic Growth, pages 1-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Lars Osberg, 1998. "Economic Insecurity," Discussion Papers 0088, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
    5. 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 437-446, September.
    6. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-659, May.
    7. 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.
    8. A. B. Atkinson, 2003. "Income Inequality in OECD Countries: Data and Explanations," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 49(4), pages 479-513.
    9. 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.
    10. Lars Osberg & Andrew Sharpe, 2002. "International Comparisons of Trends in Economic Well-being," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 349-382, June.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. Lars Osberg & Kuan Xu, 2000. "International Comparisons of Poverty Intensity: Index Decomposition and Bootstrap Inference," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(1), pages 51-81.
    15. 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: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 55(1), pages 1-96, July.
    16. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Géraldine Thiry, 2015. "Beyond GDP: Conceptual Grounds of Quantification. The Case of the Index of Economic Well-Being (IEWB)," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 121(2), pages 313-343, April.
    2. 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.
    3. Po-Chin Wu & Chiung-Wen Fan & Sheng-Chieh Pan, 2014. "Does Human Development Index Provide Rational Development Rankings? Evidence from Efficiency Rankings in Super Efficiency Model," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 116(2), pages 647-658, April.
    4. Andrew Sharpe, 2004. "Literature Review of Frameworks for Macro-indicators," CSLS Research Reports 2004-03, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    5. 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.
    6. Antonio Jurado & Jesus Perez-Mayo, 2012. "Construction and Evolution of a Multidimensional Well-Being Index for the Spanish Regions," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 107(2), pages 259-279, June.
    7. Pilar Murias & Fidel Martinez & Carlos Miguel, 2006. "An Economic Wellbeing Index for the Spanish Provinces: A Data Envelopment Analysis Approach," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 77(3), pages 395-417, July.
    8. 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.

    More about this item

    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;

    JEL classification:

    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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