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Measuring the Subjective Well-Being of NationsNational Accounts of Time Use and Well-Being$
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Alan B. Krueger

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226454566

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226454573.001.0001

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Measuring National Well-Being

Measuring National Well-Being

(p.107) 3 Measuring National Well-Being
Measuring the Subjective Well-Being of Nations
David M. Cutler
University of Chicago Press

This chapter evaluates National Time Accounting (NTA) and it is noted that the major issue is the distinction between the process of consumption and the existential value of consumption. According to this chapter, the U-index and evaluated time use more generally, are very good at measuring the utility of the process that goes into consumption. A reference is also made to Bentham's classic felicity calculus, which involved an enumeration of pleasures and pains. It is seen that some activities that are not particularly pleasurable at the time, such as work, are nonetheless engaged in for the benefits that they yield later on, such as the pleasure of using income to consume. Because the time-use data cover a representative snapshot of time, activities that involve investments in future well-being should be captured in the aggregate, although they are hard to attribute to specific activities.

Keywords:   National Time Accounting, NTA, process of consumption, existential value of consumption, U-index, time-use data

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