Over the last ten years, the ‘‘Beyond GDP’’ agenda made a lot of progress, especially from a statistical point of view. The expected adoption, in September 2015, of the universal agenda on the ‘‘Sustainable Development Goals’’ will further foster the development of statistics on economic, social and environmental dimensions of well-being, as well as its distribution among different population groups and its sustainability over time. This paper describes the key processes that led to this progress and highlights some of the remaining challenges of the measurement agenda. It also discusses the opportunities to significantly change the way in which the European Union design its policies in order to better meet the expectations of the European citizens.
The crisis we are living affects at least five (economic, financial, environmental, currency-related and well-being-related) dimensions. In this paper we outline how the emergence of the social/civil economy paradigm can provide a structural solution, giving fundamental contribution to the pursuit of sustainable development with high employment levels and social cohesion. The paradigm hinges on the hybridation of corporate and individual (consumer/investor) behavior. We document how the paradigm shift has already started since a significant minority of companies and citizens is progressively internalizing social environmental externalities in their choices, consistently with a mix of standard and longsighted self-interested behaviour and pro-social preferences. We further describe some features of the new actors (old and new cooperative forms, impact investors, multistakeholder for profit companies, fair trade, SR investment funds and banking) and outline some key policy issues (tax rules, procurement rules, development of information intermediaries) crucial to fully exploit its potential.
The paper claims that the ‘‘happiness transformation problem’’, i.e. how wealth becomes wellbeing, was a central point in some streams of the economic tradition. In particular, the author shows that from Malthus to Pigou this economic tradition paid special attention to non-economic domains important for human happiness and that are affected by market choices. Marshall is seen as the bridge between the classical reflection on happiness in the eighteenth century and the recent debates on the ‘‘paradoxes of happiness’’, an issue that is becoming more and more important, not only in moral philosophy, but also in economics and for relevant policy implications.
The aim of this short article is to provide elements for a general discussion on peace economics and its potential contribution to economics and economic policy. I first present a discussion on deterrence equilibria and consequent allocation of resources. Eventually I expound five economic channels through which military expenditures turn to be detrimental for economic development. Finally some elements to build a framework for a peaceful economic policy are presented.
This article illustrates the ‘‘new political ecology’’ approach articulating a new development paradigm, notably for the post-crisis Western democracies. By linking the economy to society, human development is focused on the reduction of inequality in its different dimensions, within and between generations. This reduction, which implies the identification and the measurement of inequalities in living conditions, can be obtained through the expansion of people’s capabilities.
The necessity to consider the individual perspective, completely ignored by the traditional GDP approach, in measuring countries’ well-being is broadly urged and accepted (Stiglitz et al., 2009). Many point out that the most important dimension of the individual perspective is represented by the subjective perception, defined in terms of subjective well-being, which should play an important role in the policy making process. The idea that observing subjective well-being has a high informative and analytic value is widely acquired. Perceptions and evaluations influence the way persons face life and benefit from opportunities. However, focusing on the individual perspective is affected by some risk. This contribution aims at exploring the conceptual issues related to those risks, which refer to some dualisms around well-being (subjective vs. objective, happiness vs. subjective experience, individual vs. community, present vs. future).
The article puts forward several philosophical reflections on the problem of the quality of life in order to suggest a perspective that might be of interest to economics and social sciences. First, the author adopts the notion of well-being and maintains that it incorporates an essential plurality of dimensions that are significant for judging the quality of people’s lives. In particular, these dimensions are objective, subjective and intersubjective. Second, the author focuses on the importance of the temporal dimension in which our lives are rooted. The problem of judging the quality of life is thus specified, in its general, abstract form, as the problem of multiple judgment on the quality of people’s lives in time.