Toward National Well-Being Accounts

Advances in psychology and neuroscience suggest that experienced utility and well-being can be measured with some accuracy (Kahmeman et al., 1999). Robust and interpersonally consistent relationships have been observed between subjective measures of brain function and health outcomes. in part because of these findings, economic research using subjective indicators of happiness and life satisfaction has proliferated in recent years. Most work on well-being uses a question on overall life satisfaction or happiness. This paper suggests an alternative route based on time budgets and affective ratings of experiences.