Why Measure Well‐Being?

Partha Dasgupta

in Human Well-Being and the Natural Environment

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780199247882
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596100 | DOI:
 Why Measure Well‐Being?

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Reasons for seeking an index of social well‐being are identified in this chapter. Four are given prominence: (1) to compare well‐being across countries (or communities); (2) to compare well‐being across time and generations for the same country (or community); (3) to check if well‐being is sustainable; and (4) to derive a criterion for judging if a policy is worth undertaking (e.g. if it is socially beneficial to accept a proposed investment project). There is no a priori reason why the same index would be appropriate for the four sets of exercises.

Keywords: inter‐generational well‐being; investment; public policy; social benefits; social well‐being; sustainability; well‐being index

Chapter.  2367 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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