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