Measuring Happiness

Dec 29, 2009 • Thinking Economically • 250 Views    No Comments

On September 27, I questioned whether anyone could develop a better measure of well-being than the GDP even when Dr. Stiglitz’s commission suggested the possibility.
Perhaps confirming the challenge, several lists of state happiness levels were recently publicized. The 2008 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index had Utah as 1, California 9, New York 35 and West Virginia last, at 50. http://www.ahiphiwire.org/WellBeing/Display.aspx?doc_code=RWBStateRanks
By contrast, an article published in Science (12/17/09) tells us not to live in New York or California if we want to be happy. Instead, the results say move to Louisiana!
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/academic/oswald/pressoswu.pdf
Happily, they both agree that the people living in Hawaii tend to be the happiest in the country.
Any implications here for changing GDP?
More tomorrow…

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