Reconsidering the well-being: the Happy Planet Index and the issue of missing data

TitleReconsidering the well-being: the Happy Planet Index and the issue of missing data
Publication TypeWorking Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsA. Campus, M. Porcu
Keywordsbeyond gdp, happiness, hpi, indicators, life satisfaction

The main aim of this paper is to build up and to analyze a composite indicator, the
Happy Planet Index (HPI), as an alternative measure to the Gross Domestic
Product (GDP) in evaluating nations’ well-being. HPI was firstly developed by the
New Economic Foundation in July 2006 and it is the first well-being composite
indicator that considers in its calculation a subjective measure of well-being: life
satisfaction. This work updates the HPI for 178 countries using the most recent
available datasets. Due to the lack of country data for some of the variables used to
build up the HPI, it has been necessary to run some missing data estimation
procedures. The results obtained show that no country manage to score high in
terms of HPI because of countries’ incapacity to maintain high living standards
(expressed in terms of happy life years) and at the same time assure sustainability.
Comparing HPI with GDP, no association between the resulting countries’
classification was found, living proof that this indicator does not reflect the same
reality that GDP illustrates.

Citation Key2703
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