A "happiness test" for the new measures of national well-being: How much better than GDP are they?
Across the globe there is growing skepticism about the usefulness of GDP as a measure of national well-being. Consequently, several alternative quality-of-life (QOL) measures were developed which either aim at healing the GDP, complementing it, or replacing it. This chapter portrays some of these new measures and puts them to a happiness test: compared to the GDP, are the new QOL measures better able to capture what makes people happy and satisfied with their lives? Using data for 34 OECD societies, we can show that from a happiness perspective, there is-surprisingly-little wrong with the GDP, and most alternative QOL measures do not outperform GDP. Yet, one measure actually does a better job: the OECD's Better Life Index which is particularly effective when it comes to predicting subjective well-being in the richest OECD countries. In sum, the chapter demonstrates that a happiness perspective can add important insights along the way to facilitate the search for a new, widely accepted, internationally comparable measure of well-being.
|Date of creation:||2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: ++49 - 30 - 25491 - 0
Fax: ++49 - 30 - 25491 - 684
Web page: http://www.wzb.eu/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- repec:pri:cheawb:deaton_income_health_and_wellbeing_around_the_world_evidence_%20from_gallup_world_poll_jep_spring2008 is not listed on IDEAS
- Ruut Veenhoven, 2005. "Apparent Quality-of-Life in Nations: How Long and Happy People Live," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 71(1), pages 61-86, 03.
- Niels Lind, 2004. "Values Reflected in the Human Development Index," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 66(3), pages 283-293, May.
- Amal Ray, 2008. "Measurement of social development: an international comparison," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 86(1), pages 1-46, March.
- Frederik Booysen, 2002. "An Overview and Evaluation of Composite Indices of Development," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 59(2), pages 115-151, August.
- Niels Lind, 2010. "A Calibrated Index of Human Development," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 98(2), pages 301-319, September.
- Richard Estes, 2010. "The World Social Situation: Development Challenges at the Outset of a New Century," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 98(3), pages 363-402, September.
- Mark McGillivray, 2005. "Measuring Non-Economic Well-Being Achievement ," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(2), pages 337-364, 06.
- Angus Deaton, 2008.
"Income, Health, and Well-Being around the World: Evidence from the Gallup World Poll,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 53-72, Spring.
- Amartya Sen, 2000. "A Decade of Human Development," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 17-23.
- Delhey, Jan & Newton, Kenneth, 2004. "Social trust: Global pattern or nordic exceptionalism?," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Inequality and Social Integration SP I 2004-202, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
- 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, Springer, vol. 55(1), pages 1-96, July.
- Ed Diener & Christie Napa-Scollon & Shigehiro Oishi & Vivian Dzokoto & Eunkook Suh, 2000. "Positivity and the Construction of Life Satisfaction Judgments: Global Happiness is not the Sum of its Parts," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 159-176, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbisi:spi2012201. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.