Beyond Money: Progress on an Economy of Well-Being


Diener, E., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2018). Beyond money: Progress on an economy of well-being. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 13(2), 171-175.


In our 2004 “Beyond Money” article, we argued that national accounts of psychological and subjective well-being should complement the economic indicators that frequently guide policy decisions. We claimed that economic indicators fail to reflect important aspects of quality of life that well-being indicators capture. Since the time of our article, progress has been made, and scores of nations have used some forms of well-being measures. The National Academy of Sciences of the United States and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development both issued reports on accounts of well-being. Researchers have pointed to policies that are supported by the findings, such as environmental and economic policies. The emergence of “big data” has opened major new pathways for measuring well-being in inexpensive, unobtrusive, and nonreactive fashion. Psychological researchers now need to create superordinate combinations of subjective and objective measures of well-being to study the impact of the policies they advocate. The accounts can serve as a lever for convincing policymakers to enact policies that increase human flourishing. 

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