France joins Bhutan
In the quest to measure "gross national happiness". In this case though, President Nic has commissioned a couple of heavy hitters to create an alternative index to GDP. Here is an article on what they've come up with:
"Sarkozy asked U.S. economist Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the 2001 Nobel economics prize and a critic of free-market economists, and Armatya Sen of India, who won the 1998 Nobel prize for work on developing countries, to lead the analysis of growth tracking.
Sen helped create the U.N. Human Development Index, a yearly welfare indicator designed to gear international policy decisions to take account of health and living standards.
Their report, delivered to Sarkozy on Monday, recommends shifting the emphasis from gross domestic product, which measures economic production, to well-being and sustainability.
The report recommends looking at household income, consumption and wealth rather than production in the economy as a whole for a better reflection of material living standards. Non-market activities such as house cleaning should also be tracked, it says.
More prominence should be given to the distribution of income and wealth, as well as to access to education and health.
Attention should also be given to whether countries are over-consuming their economic wealth and damaging the environment, the report says."
OK, got all that? Our index measures house cleaning, income distribution, access to particular goods and services, plus measures of over-consumption and environmental damage.
I will have to see if I can find the actual report and see if Stiglitz and Sen were so foolhardy as to list a concrete quantitive formula containing all this that could be computed.
Let me conclude by saying that on a 0 - 100 scale, my happiness today is around 97.34!