Quotation Fellner, Wolfgang, Göhmann, Benedikt. 2017. Human Needs and the Measurement of Welfare.




Adam Smith considered consumption the sole end and purpose of all production. Concerning the measurement of welfare, this requires a sound understanding of the connection between consumption and welfare. The consumerist onceptualization of this connection implies that the amount of consumption equals welfare and the level of production can be an indicator for welfare. The limits and problems of production measures are widely accepted. Yet, indicators like GDP remain the focus of mainstream economic theory and policy. We trace the origin of this lock-in back to the economic model of behaviour and the concept of agency in mainstream economics. The suggested alternative stems from literature about human needs in heterodox economics and psychology. This literature incorporates the relevance of social aspects and cultural change for welfare. It turns out that consumerism can be a threat to well-being and welfare rather than a requirement for it.


Press 'enter' for creating the tag

Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Working/discussion paper, preprint
Language English
Title Human Needs and the Measurement of Welfare
Year 2017
URL http://www-sre.wu.ac.at/sre-disc/sre-disc-2017_07.pdf
JEL JEL Codes: A12, B00, I31


Fellner, Wolfgang (Former researcher)
Göhmann, Benedikt (Kingston University & Université Paris 13, United Kingdom)
Institute for Multi-Level Governance and Development IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5325 Political economics (Details)
5335 Political economic theory (Details)
5368 Sustainable development, sustainable economics (Details)
Google Scholar: Search