Does Growth Mean Happiness?

As reported in the Economist (Chilled out, 25 Feb 2012) the financial meltdown and subsequent economic gloom has not prevented us getting happier (though Greeks may beg to differ). The report is based on a poll of 19,000 adults in 24 countries by Ipsos, a research company (for full details, click here). Although the Economist claims the results are “counterintuitive” they bear out previous research. Continue reading Does Growth Mean Happiness?

Accounting for Britain’s Q2 GDP

UK GDP increased by just o.2% in the 2nd quarter of 2011. But not all is at it seems. There were a number of special events associated with 2011 Q2 including; the additional April bank holiday; the royal wedding and the after effects of the Japanese tsunami. According to the ONS,

“It is not possible to state precisely what the net overall impact of these special effects might have been. Analysis that we have carried out indicates that Q2’s special events may have had a net downward impact on Q2 2011 GDP of 0.4 in the services sector and 0.1 in the production sector. These estimates are broad brush and illustrative. There can be no certainty as to the impact of the special events and there may be other factors at play. “

For more details, click here.

Measuring the Good Life

There’s been a lot of debate lately on measuring the well-being of societies – is wealth all that matters, or should we be looking at other things, like the balance between work and the rest of our lives? The OECD’s Better Life Index “…aims to involve citizens in this debate, and to empower them to become more informed and engaged in the policy-making process that shapes all our lives.”

Just one problem…as the index focusses just on the OECD many democracy-challenged countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia are not included!