Measuring Individual Economic Well‐Being and Social Welfare within the Framework of the System of National Accounts

18 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2017

See all articles by Dale W. Jorgenson

Dale W. Jorgenson

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Paul Schreyer

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - National Accounts and Structural Economic Statistics Division

Date Written: December 2017

Abstract

While the agenda of “beyond GDP” encompasses measurements that lie outside boundaries of the System of National Accounts, key aspects of individual well‐being and social welfare can be incorporated into an SNA framework. We bring together the relevant theoretical literature and the empirical tools needed for this purpose. We show how consumption‐based measures of economic welfare can be integrated into the national accounts without changing their production or asset boundary. At the same time, explicit normative and methodological choices are required to select a social welfare function. The paper provides guidance how to make these choices transparent and how to present social welfare measures.

Keywords: E210, distribution of consumption, national accounts, welfare measurement

JEL Classification: D31, D63

Suggested Citation

Jorgenson, Dale W. and Schreyer, Paul, Measuring Individual Economic Well‐Being and Social Welfare within the Framework of the System of National Accounts (December 2017). Review of Income and Wealth, Vol. 63, pp. S460-S477, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3079945 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/roiw.12326

Dale W. Jorgenson (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Room 122
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-4661 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
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United States

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Paul Schreyer

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - National Accounts and Structural Economic Statistics Division ( email )

Paris
France

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