OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers

ISSN :
1815-199X (online)
DOI :
10.1787/1815199x
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This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected labour market, social policy and migration studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.
 

Alternative Measures of Well-Being You or your institution have access to this content

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Author(s):
Romina Boarini, Åsa Johansson1, Marco Mira d'Ercole
Author Affiliations
  • 1: OECD, France

Publication Date
17 Feb 2006
Bibliographic information
No.:
33
Pages
59
DOI
10.1787/713222332167

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All discussions about the desirability of policy reforms rest on judgements about their effects on individuals and societal well-being. Yet, suitable measures for assessing how well-being is changing over time or compares across countries are lacking. This problem is, of course, not new and standard economic theory has provided, over the years, a range of insights about the criteria and domains that are most critical for the measurement of well-being, and on the relation between well-being and measures of economic resources. This paper does not revisit this theoretical discussion, nor does it provide a comprehensive review of different approaches to the measurement of well-being. It rather assesses whether GDP per capita is an adequate proxy as a measure of well-being or whether other indicators — used either as substitutes or as complements to GDP per capita — are more suitable for that purpose. Attention is limited to only some of the factors that influence well-being, and excludes some critical elements such as the environment, home production and other non-market factors.
JEL Classification:
  • D31: Microeconomics / Distribution / Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
  • D6: Microeconomics / Welfare Economics
  • I31: Health, Education, and Welfare / Welfare and Poverty / General Welfare
  • J22: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor / Time Allocation and Labor Supply