January 29, 2010

New welfare indicators

Pedro Beça and Rui Santos think that GDP is not a sufficiently good indicator of welfare and devise a new indicator that gives more weight to things they like, such as government-spending in education and health care, and subtracts things they dislike, such as divorce, drug and alcohol use, consumption inequality and the use of "natural" resources.

If I were to construct a new welfare index I would give more weight to nature hiking and bird-watching, playing tennis, badminton and football, and indie music, and would subtract spending in quads and off-road motorcycles, hunting, wind farms, airport security, and folk music.

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