Measuring Non-Economic Well-Being Achievement

28 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2005

See all articles by Mark McGillivray

Mark McGillivray

United Nations - World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU/WIDER)


Income per capita and most widely reported, non- or non-exclusively income based human well-being indicators are highly correlated among countries. Yet many countries exhibit higher achievement in the latter than predicted by the former. The reverse is true for many other countries. This paper commences by extracting the inter-country variation in a composite of various widely-reported, non-income-based well-being indices not accounted for by variations in income pre capita. This extraction is interpreted inter alia as a measure of non-economic well-being. The paper then looks at correlations between this extraction and a number of new or less widely-used well-being measures, in an attempt to find the measure that best captures these achievements. A number of indicators are examined, including measures of poverty, inequality, health status, education status, gender bias, empowerment, governance and subjective well-being.

Suggested Citation

McGillivray, Mark, Measuring Non-Economic Well-Being Achievement. Review of Income and Wealth, Vol. 51, No. 2, pp. 337-364, June 2005, Available at SSRN:

Mark McGillivray (Contact Author)

United Nations - World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU/WIDER) ( email )

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