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Measuring Economic Security in Insecure Times: New Perspectives, New Events, and the Index of Economic Well-being

  • Lars Osberg


This report has two main objectives. The first is to outline the development of the methodology for the measurement of economic security in the Index of Economic Well-being (IEWB) and to provide updated estimates of the Index of Economic Security over the 1980-2007 period for seven developed countries: Canada, Australia, Germany, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. The four components of the economic security domain of the IEWB – security from unemployment, illness, single-parent poverty, and old-age poverty – are discussed. The second objective is to consider the adequacy of our framework for the discussion and measurement of economic security during times as tumultuous as the present. Since 2008, the global economy has fallen into recession and anxiety about the economic future has dramatically increased. In this context, how should one measure trends in economic security? Projections of the Index to 2010, computed on the basis of OECD unemployment forecasts, indicate that the global recession will lead to a substantial decrease in economic security as the recession continues.

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Paper provided by Centre for the Study of Living Standards in its series CSLS Research Reports with number 2009-12.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sls:resrep:0912
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  1. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1996. "Perceptions of Economic Insecurity: Evidence from the Survey of Economic Expectations," NBER Working Papers 5690, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert J. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 615, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  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. Andrew Sharpe & Lars Osberg, 2009. "New Estimates of the Index of Economic Well-being for Selected OECD Countries, 1981 - 2007," CSLS Research Reports 2009-11, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
  5. Kenneth Scheve & Matthew Slaughter, 2002. "Economic Insecurity and the Globalization of Production," NBER Working Papers 9339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Lars Osberg & Andrew Sharpe, 2010. "The Index of Economic Well-Being," Challenge, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 53(4), pages 25-42, July.
  8. Andrew Sharpe & Lars Osberg, 2009. "New Estimates of the Index of Economic Well-being for Canada and the Provinces, 1981 - 2008," CSLS Research Reports 2009-10, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
  9. Lars Osberg & Andrew Sharpe, 2002. "International Comparisons of Trends in Economic Well-being," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 349-382, June.
  10. 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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