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Listen to this programmeIdeas for 18 April 2010: The Economics of Wellbeing (duration: 48′50″)
Late last year Nobel Prize winning economists Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen called on governments to find new ways to measure happiness and well-being alongside the traditional measure of gross domestic product.
The pair were among a group of leading economists and social scientist commissioned by French president Nicolas Sarkozy to write a report on the measurement of true economic progress..
And Stiglitz and Sen are far from the first to call for a more meaningful ecomic measure than GDP.
New Zealand's own Marilyn Waring pointed out in her seminal book, Counting for Nothing, that GDP counts oil spills and wars as contributors to economic growth, while child-rearing and housekeeping are deemed valueless.
Today on Ideas we look into the economics of well-being and talk to:
Mark Anielski, the author of The Economics of Happiness about some attempts to come up with more meaningful economic measures.
Mukesh Eswara, a professor of economics at the University of British Columbia - who recently co-wrote a paper with Curtis Eaton which argues that greater affluence can actually damage a society's well-being and happiness.
Dave Breuer, the director of Anew NZ - a trust which aims to help develop a more meaningful measure of New Zealand's economic well-being.
Produced by Jeremy Rose
A weekly programme exploring a range of philosophical, social, historical and environmental ideas.
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