Measuring National Well-Being

Edited by David M. Cutler

in Measuring the Subjective Well-Being of Nations

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780226454566
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226454573 | DOI:
Measuring National Well-Being

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This chapter evaluates National Time Accounting (NTA) and it is noted that the major issue is the distinction between the process of consumption and the existential value of consumption. According to this chapter, the U-index and evaluated time use more generally, are very good at measuring the utility of the process that goes into consumption. A reference is also made to Bentham's classic felicity calculus, which involved an enumeration of pleasures and pains. It is seen that some activities that are not particularly pleasurable at the time, such as work, are nonetheless engaged in for the benefits that they yield later on, such as the pleasure of using income to consume. Because the time-use data cover a representative snapshot of time, activities that involve investments in future well-being should be captured in the aggregate, although they are hard to attribute to specific activities.

Keywords: National Time Accounting; NTA; process of consumption; existential value of consumption; U-index; time-use data

Chapter.  2416 words. 

Subjects: Econometrics and Mathematical Economics

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