Objective Well-being Indicators and Subjective Well-being Measures: How important are they in current public policy?
PublisherUniversidad Autónoma de Madrid. Fundación General
CitationEncuentros Multidisciplinares 64 (2020): 1-13
SubjectsProgreso y calidad de vida; GDP; Concepto de bienestar; Medidas; Economía
The use of GDP as an indicator of social progress and quality of life has been challenged since the last quarter of the 20th century. The publication of the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Commission Report in 2009 was decisive in highlighting the limitations of GDP and in confirming the need to shift focus from measuring economic production to measuring people’s well-being. The Report also emphasised the multidimensional nature of well-being and recommended it to be assessed using both objective and subjective dimensions. An increasing number of governments are aiming at applying the Report’s recommendations and have decided to put people’s well-being at the centre of what they do. Most initiatives have decided to incorporate both metrics from objective indicators and subjective well-being measures, obtained from surveys, into their policy decision making. Quite a lot of criticism has emerged though around the use of subjective wellbeing data to design or to evaluate public policies. Critics describe these measures as inaccurate, irrelevant or easily manipulated, and prefer to rely on hard metrics. But for other scholars, subjective well-being measures are capable of achieving more than what objective indicators can, by providing a fuller and more accurate overview of the consequences of specific situations on people’s well-being.
Google Scholar:Tailbot, Karin
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