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Yes indeed, happiness is measurable!
By Emmanuel Lechypre, originally published in on BFM Business on 13/02/2015.
By: Inbox America | BFM TV
The 2008 crisis brought back, as after almost every shock of the global economy, the debate on the social quality of economic growth and its purpose for the entire society.
"How can you be certain that a society progresses over the long term, which is to say without mortgaging the available resources and ensuring the well-being of the entire population, including future generations?"
Economists have gone in search of a new grail: Measuring Happiness
Until now, most economists had sought to better understand the concept of well-being. Aalready in the early 1970s, Bhutan invented a revolutionary indicator – improperly called, “Gross National Happiness” – which complemented economic growth with indicators related to national culture and environment.
In 1990, the Indian Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, developed the Human Development Index (HDI) combining several indicators such as GDP per inhabitant, life expectancy, level of education and inequality. But today, as the economy increasingly integrates the contributions of psychology, economists have gone in search of a new Holy Grail: Happiness.
How to measure it? How to explain such a fleeting and indescribable feeling? Not much choice but to simply ask people if they are happy! Therefore polls are increasing, such as that conducted by Gallup used to develop the U.N. "World Happiness Report".
Probing "heads and hearts"
Paradoxically, none of these surveys use the possibilities offered by new information technologies to probe the heads and hearts. This is why BFM Business and the digital marketing specialist Inbox have decided to take advantage of the expertise gained in another project (see Social Ecorama) which was already the first “business climate barometer” based on the mood social networks.
The goal: to build a true barometer of happiness of any country, which will be measured every day (not once a month or a year), and whose fluctuations will be explainable (Love, Work, Health, Weather, Money, etc.).
For the French version of Happiness Index, over the past two months we can see some highlights: the highest (for the year-end holidays), lower (the day of the Charlie Hebdo attack).
The challenge: to better understand the complex alchemy’s mechanisms of Happiness, and above all to ultimately modestly contribute to explore the links between Economics and Happiness:
What makes you happy? Does growth makes people happy? And what if it was Happiness was the source of growth and not the opposite?
Page Updated Last on: Mar 07, 2015