Sunday, July 10, 2011

Prosperity, Thriving, & Economic Growth

A while ago I posted a couple of pieces (here and here) relating to the Better Life Index (BLI) that the OECD released in May of this year. Not surprisingly, the BLI caught the attention of a number of bloggers.

Some of the most thoughtful posts on this topic came from the Australian economist, Winton Bates. In the last few days Winton has extended his earlier analysis and comments in a series of posts that look at other, somewhat similar, indices.

These include the Legatum Prosperity Index, which Winton correlates with the BLI  here, and relates to GDP growth here. If you check these out you'll find links to his earlier posts on the BLI. 

In another interesting post (here), Winton asks "Does economic growth help people to thrive?" He uses Gallup's World Poll data on "thriving", "struggling" and "suffering", and relates it to per capita GDP in different countries. The Gallup data are interesting in their own right, being based on the Cantril self-striving anchoring scale, which you can learn more about here.

If you have an interest in these various measures of  "well being", and the linkages between them and standard measures of economic output and growth (e.g., GDP), Winton's blog, "Freedom and Flourishing", is definitely worth following.

© 2011, David E. Giles