the visible hand

it is the theory which decides what can be observed – einstein

Towards a better measure of well-being

Posted by ecoshift on September 13, 2009

FT.com / Comment / Opinion –
Towards a better measure of well-being
By Joseph Stiglitz
Published: September 13 2009

A political leader attempting to promote the well-being of his citizens is pulled in different directions: he will be graded on economic performance but there are many other dimensions to the quality of life, including the state of the environment. While there is no single indicator that can capture something as complex as our society, the metrics commonly used, such as gross domestic product, suggest a trade-off: one can improve the environment only by sacrificing growth. But if we had a comprehensive measure of well-being, perhaps we would see this as a false choice. Such a metric might indicate an increase in wellbeing as the environment improved, even if conventionally measured output went down.

Update:

From the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress home page:

Here’s a provisional draft summary of the commission’s work…

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