The Empirics of Social Progress: The Interplay between Subjective Well-Being and Societal Performance
Author(s)Fehder, Daniel Colin; Porter, Michael S.; Stern, Scott
MetadataShow full item record
Though economists have long recognized that GDP is not by itself a measure of societal well-being, most GDP alternatives incorporate direct measures of economic performance. We propose instead an independently constructed measure, a social progress index, focusing exclusively on noneconomic dimensions of societal performance, highlighting three core dimensions—basic human needs, foundations of well-being, and opportunity. GDP and social progress are correlated but distinct, the social progress dimension least related to GDP (opportunity) is strongly related to subjective well-being, and the relationship between social progress and well-being is greater for individuals at lower relative income and educational attainment.
DepartmentSloan School of Management
AEA Papers and Proceedings
American Economic Association
Fehder, Daniel, Michael Porter, and Scott Stern. “The Empirics of Social Progress: The Interplay Between Subjective Well-Being and Societal Performance.” AEA Papers and Proceedings 108 (2018): 477–82.
Final published version