Gross National Happiness and Macroeconomic Indicators in the Kingdom of Bhutan

Author/Editor:

Sriram Balasubramanian ; Paul Cashin

Publication Date:

January 17, 2019

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

This paper examines the origins and use of the concept of Gross National Happiness (or subjective well-being) in the Kingdom of Bhutan, and the relationship between measured well-being and macroeconomic indicators. While there are only a few national surveys of Gross National Happiness in Bhutan, the concept has been used to guide public policymaking for the country’s various Five-Year Plans. Consistent with the Easterlin Paradox, available evidence indicates that Bhutan’s rapid increase in national income is only weakly associated with increases in measured levels of well-being. It will be important for Bhutan to undertake more frequent Gross National Happiness surveys and evaluations, to better build evidence for comovement of well-being and macroeconomic concepts such as real national income.

Series:

Working Paper No. 19/15

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

January 17, 2019

ISBN/ISSN:

9781484389713/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2019015

Price:

$19.00 (Academic Rate:$19.00)

Format:

Paper

Pages:

26

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