Bernanke and Gross National Happiness

Ben Bernanke, head of the Federal Reserve, gave a speech today on measurements of economic development. Surprisingly he mentioned Bhutan and its concept of Gross National Happiness.

“This line of research has generated alternative measures of well-being that are frequently survey-based and incorporate elements such as psychological wellness, the level of education, physical health and safety, community vitality and the strength of family and social ties, and time spent in leisure activities. These measures have begun to inform official statistics and have started to be discussed in policy debates. An interesting and unique case is the Kingdom of Bhutan, which abandoned tracking gross national product in 1972 in favor of its Gross National Happiness index based on a survey that incorporates these types of indicators.”….. for full article

Who knows maybe this is a start towards measuring other things than steel and concrete, like quality of life.

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