Improving well-being in Bhutan: a pursuit of happiness or poverty reduction?

Nidup, J, Feeny, S and De Silva, A 2018, 'Improving well-being in Bhutan: a pursuit of happiness or poverty reduction?', Social Indicators Research, vol. 140, no. 1, pp. 79-100.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Improving well-being in Bhutan: a pursuit of happiness or poverty reduction?
Author(s) Nidup, J
Feeny, S
De Silva, A
Year 2018
Journal name Social Indicators Research
Volume number 140
Issue number 1
Start page 79
End page 100
Total pages 22
Publisher Springer
Abstract Increasing happiness is a key priority for the Bhutanese government. This priority displaces more traditional (economic) objectives such as the pursuit of income growth and the reduction of income poverty. This paper examines the implications of this approach by examining whether there are common correlates of the four following measures of human well-being in Bhutan: income poverty; multidimensional poverty; perceived poverty; and happiness. Our findings suggest that whilst there is a degree of commonality, determinants of the different measures of well-being are distinct. Common factors include having a savings account, levels of literacy and household size. Further we show that higher levels of income poverty, multidimensional poverty and perceived poverty are found to be negatively associated with happiness. Importantly, our findings suggest that a focus on increasing happiness might come at the expense of improving othermeasures of wellbeing.
Subject Welfare Economics
Keyword(s) Bhutan
Income poverty
Multidimensional poverty
Perceived poverty
DOI - identifier 10.1007/s11205-017-1775-1
Copyright notice © Springer Science and Business Media B.V. 2017
ISSN 1573-0921
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