Oct. 19, 2018 (Phys.org) -- A trio of economists is suggesting that it is time to add a well-being index to national economic measures.
Carol Graham with the Brookings Institution, Kate Laffan with the London School of Economics and Sergio Pinto with the University of Maryland, have published a Perspective piece in the journal Science outlining their arguments for adding measurements such as degree of happiness to economic indicators.
Graham, Laffan and Pinto point out that judging the health of a country by its economic numbers alone does not give a true picture. For example, GDP numbers for the United States are currently high, while unemployment numbers are very low. Things must be good, right? If that is the case, why is the country experiencing such a high suicide rate? And why is life expectancy falling?
They suggest that national economic reports need to be updated to include a well-being index (as opposed to the notorious misery index once proposed by economist Arthur Okun.)