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Gross National Happiness

  • By: Elaine D. Kirkham
  • In: Green Business: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Nevin Cohen & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Sustainability, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

Gross National Happiness (GNH) is one of a number of indices that have been devised to measure national quality of life by taking such things as physical well-being, safety, income equality, and access to information into account. Because GNH tries to capture the effects of what are essentially intangible attributes, the major challenge has been determining how best to measure the effects. The effort to refine a GNH model has been criticized because most of the data inputs derive from responses to surveys that are highly subjective. Proponents defend the GNH approach on the basis that the gross national product (GNP), though frequently touted as a measure of national well-being, was never intended for that purpose and is inadequate for the task. The proxies it ...

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