Two approaches to alternative measures of progress: the
Two approaches to alternative measures of progress: the Happy Planet Index and National Accounts of Well-being ESRC Research Methods Festival 8 July 2010 Juliet Michaelson Centre for Well-being nef (the new economics foundation) About nef An independent UK think-and-do-tank (founded 1986). Inspired by 3 principles
Sustainable development Social justice Peoples well-being Well-being programme set up in 2001 to ask: What would policy look like if it focused on improving well-being? How not to measure progress Gross National Product counts air pollution, and cigarrette advertising andthe destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy or their playthe beauty of our poetry or the
strength of our marriages. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. Robert Kennedy, 1968 GDP and GWB GDP. Gross domestic product. Yes it's vital. It measures the wealth of our society. But it hardly tells the whole story. Wealth is about so much more than pounds, or euros or dollars can ever measure. It's time we admitted that there's more to life than money, and it's time we focused not just on
GDP, but on GWB - general well-being. David Cameron MP May 2006 So why do we do it? Simon Kuznets in the US wanted to improve the welfare of the poorest during the Great Depression in the 1930s The welfare of a nation can scarcely be inferred from a measurement of national income
So why do we do it? Contextual importance: During WW2 the militarisation process created an almost exclusive emphasis on production. Institutionalisation: UN System on National Accounting (1953). Currently 1993 standard being used most widely. Stiglitz Commission recommendations
Improve economic measures: focus on income, household, wealth and assets, distribution, non-market activities Measure dimensions of quality-of-life, including subjective well-being Measure sustainability through a dashboard of measures A view of society Human society Life Sat x Life Exp = Happy Life Years Ecological Footprint
land required to produce resources and sequester CO 2 produced by a nation, based on consumption patterns The HPI Combined into an efficiency index: Results by country HPI rank Countries Region Life Sat Life Exp
EF HPI 1 Costa Rica 1a 8.5 78.5 2.3 =
76.1 2 Dominican Rep 1a 7.6 71.5 1.5 =
71.8 3 Jamaica 1a 6.7 72.2 1.1 = 70.1
9 Brazil 1b 7.6 71.7 2.4 = 61.0
20 China 6a 6.7 72.5 2.1 = 57.1 35
India 5a 5.5 63.7 0.9 = 53.0 43
Netherlands 2c 7.7 79.2 4.4 = 50.6 74 UK
2c 7.4 79.0 5.3 = 43.3 114 USA
2b 7.9 77.9 9.4 = 30.7 143 Zimbabwe 4a
2.8 40.9 1.1 = 16.6 Global results A sense of direction What HPI doesnt do Provide texture
Links to specific policy Sensitivity Where National Accounts of Wellbeing can help Other aspects of human society A dynamic model of well-being Experience of life e.g. to be connected to others, autonomous, and competent Enabling
conditions e.g. opportunities and obstacles, inequalities, social norms, culture e.g. happiness, satisfaction, interest, boredom and distress Functioning well and satisfaction of needs Psychological resources
e.g. resilience, optimism, self-esteem National Accounts structure Personal well-being www.nationalaccountsofwellbeing.org Social well-being www.nationalaccountsofwellbeing.org Overall well-being: adjustable ratio www.nationalaccountsofwellbeing.org
Country well-being profiles www.nationalaccountsofwellbeing.org Enhancing policy making Means and ends policy outcomes and drivers e.g. autonomy self-esteem better education outcomes? better health outcomes? Looking back and looking forward Track change, evaluate, compare Identify need, assess proposals, shape content, delivery and targeting
Sensitivity to policy? Multiple measures means more scope for change Current scores suggest room for improvement Levels of analysis HPI NAWB Find out more www.happyplanetindex.org www.nationalaccountsofwellbeing.org [email protected]
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