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Moving from a GDP-Based to a Well-Being Based Metric of Economic Performance and Social Progress: Results from the Index of Economic Well-Being for OECD Countries, 1980-2009

  • Lars Osberg


  • Andrew Sharpe


This report presents new estimates of the Index of Economic Well-being (IEWB) and its four domains (consumption flows, stocks of wealth, economic equality, and economic security) for 14 OECD countries for the 1980-2009 period. It finds that in 2009 Norway had the highest level of economic well-being and Spain the lowest. Canada ranked ninth among the fourteen countries. Over the 1980-2009 period Denmark enjoyed the most rapid increase in economic well-being, and the Netherlands the slowest. In all 14 countries rate of advance of the IEWB was less than that of GDP per capita. Economic well-being, therefore, has not advanced as rapidly as GDP per capita.

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Paper provided by Centre for the Study of Living Standards in its series CSLS Research Reports with number 2011-12.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sls:resrep:1112
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  1. 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.
  2. Andrew Sharpe & Jean-François Arsenault & Alexander Murray & Sharon Qiao, 2008. "The Valuation of the Alberta Oil Sands," CSLS Research Reports 2008-07, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
  3. Tol, Richard S. J., 2007. "The Social Cost of Carbon: Trends, Outliers and Catastrophes," Economics Discussion Papers 2007-44, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  4. Lars Osberg & Andrew Sharpe, 2002. "International Comparisons of Trends in Economic Well-being," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 349-382, June.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Lars Osberg & Andrew Sharpe, 2001. "Trends in Economic Well-being in Canada in the 1990s," The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress, in: Andrew Sharpe, Executive Director & France St-Hilaire, Vice-President , Research & Keith Banting, Di (ed.), The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress 2001: The Longest Decade: Canada in the 1990s, volume 1 Centre for the Study of Living Standards;The Institutute for Research on Public Policy.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Lars Osberg & Andrew Sharpe, 2010. "The Index of Economic Well-Being," Challenge, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 53(4), pages 25-42, July.
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