The Empirics of Social Progress: The Interplay between Subjective Well-Being and Societal Performance
AbstractThough economists have long recognized that GDP is not by itself a measure of societal well-being, most GDP alternatives incorporate direct measures of economic performance. We propose instead an independently constructed measure, a social progress index, focusing exclusively on noneconomic dimensions of societal performance, highlighting three core dimensions—basic human needs, foundations of well-being, and opportunity. GDP and social progress are correlated but distinct, the social progress dimension least related to GDP (opportunity) is strongly related to subjective well-being, and the relationship between social progress and well-being is greater for individuals at lower relative income and educational attainment.
CitationFehder, Daniel, Michael Porter, and Scott Stern. 2018. "The Empirics of Social Progress: The Interplay between Subjective Well-Being and Societal Performance." AEA Papers and Proceedings, 108: 477-82. DOI: 10.1257/pandp.20181036
- C43 Index Numbers and Aggregation; Leading indicators
- E01 Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
- E23 Macroeconomics: Production
- I31 General Welfare; Well-Being
- I32 Measurement and Analysis of Poverty