Rethinking of Economic Growth and Life Satisfaction in Post-Wwii Japan – A Fresh Approach
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Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been utilized by academics and policy makers to indicate the economic well-being of the people. However, economic growth measures cannot capture fully the overall well-being of the people. This paper has tested quality of economic growth in Japan after World War II as to whether it has brought about positive outcome in the well-being of its citizens. Comparison between GDP and GPI (Genuine Progress Index) has revealed that GDP does not fit as well with people’s life satisfaction trend as GPI. Prefecture-based rankings on GDP, Human Development Index (HDI) and Life Satisfaction have shown that there are clear gaps between objective measures and subjective measures to indicate the overall well-being of the people. Also, analysis on major determinants for people’s life satisfaction reveals that older people, women, non-employed people, and those who live in subsidized housings felt satisfied with their life.
Key wordseconomic growth genuine progress Index gross domestic product Japan life satisfaction prefecture-based human development index subjective well-being
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