Social and Political Indicators of Human Well-being

  • Susan Harkness
Part of the Studies in Development Economics and Policy book series (SDEP)


Quality of life bears a complex relationship to a wide range of social and political indicators of development. Over recent years, the availability of data has increased appreciably in both the range and number of countries covered. In this chapter, I ask what contribution these indicators can make towards our understanding of human well-being. In so doing, the conceptualization of ‘well-being’ and development is discussed, and how these concepts may be applied to multidimensional approaches to welfare analysis. The issues surrounding the choice of indicator variables, data quality and availability are reviewed, before the interpretation of social indicators is discussed. I then look at issues surrounding aggregating and disaggregating social indicators, and review the literature on political indicators of well-being.


Human Development Social Exclusion Human Development Index Social Indicator Income Poverty 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© United Nations University 2007

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  • Susan Harkness

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