Happiness and Human Development

Happiness and HD
By Hall, Jon; Helliwell, John F.

Those who are interested in promoting the collection and use of subjective wellbeing data often cite the importance of such data to help balance the attention otherwise placed almost exclusively on indicators of economic activity, such as Gross Domestic Product, as measures of national progress or development.1 The same concerns played a formative role in the conception of the human development approach.2 Despite these similarities of origin, the two areas of research and practice are not yet as closely allied as one might imagine they would be. This chapter seeks to understand why that is the case and whether – and what -- each approach can learn from the other.