Mark Littlewood writes for the Daily Mail's RightMinds blog
Far better, they argue, to measure the impact of policies on whether they lead us to give more positive answers in a series of government surveys. A squadron of clipboard-wielding bureaucrats will seek to find out if we’re feeling happier about ourselves, getting on okay with our spouses, and generally feeling less stressed and more positive about the world than previously. The idea is that government policies can be measured as successes or failures based on these sort of metrics.
Advocates of happiness economics produce some deeply counter-intuitive results and arrive at some rather puzzling conclusions. So bizarre, in fact, that you might well question whether the measurements of happiness really mean anything at all. Last year, the New Economics Foundation published its Happy Planet Index.
This purported to prove, amongst other things, that Burma is a happier place than Sweden. This will surely come as a bit of a shock to both the Burmese and the Swedes – certainly very few of the latter seem eager to relocate from Stockholm to build a new, more fulfilling life for themselves in Naypyidaw. What exact policies the New Economics Foundation thinks the Scandinavians should adopt in order to make themselves more like Burma remains unclear.
Read the rest of the article on the Daily Mail Rightminds website.