Sustainability and Well-being Indicators

  • Eric Neumayer
Part of the Studies in Development Economics and Policy book series (SDEP)


Most indicators of well-being ignore sustainability and most indicators of sustainability ignore (current) well-being. A prominent example for the former is the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Index (hereafter UNDP and HDI), whereas the World Bank’s Genuine Savings (GS) is characteristic of the latter. This chapter provides a critical assessment of those efforts, which have tried to integrate both concepts into one single indicator or have combined the measurement of both without full integration. Well-being often comes under the name welfare or utility, and we will use all three terms interchangeably here. In spite of its common use in economics and other social sciences, it is not easily defined in a concrete sense. Other chapters of this book discuss the meaning of well-being and how best to measure it in detail.


Gross Domestic Product Human Development Index United Nations Development Programme Gross National Product Genuine Saving 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© United Nations University 2007

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  • Eric Neumayer

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