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Improving Well-Being in Bhutan: A Pursuit of Happiness or Poverty Reduction?

  • Jigme Nidup
  • Simon Feeny
  • Ashton de Silva
Article

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 other measures of wellbeing.

Keywords

Bhutan Happiness Income poverty Multidimensional poverty Perceived poverty Well-being 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Central Australian CollegeFootscray WestAustralia
  2. 2.School of Economics, Finance and MarketingRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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