The pursuit of happiness in the Mediterranean

FEM3414_picThe pursuit of happiness, it’s a serious matter. So much so that the leading economists members of FEMISE have studied the issue. They scrutinized the factors that lead to well-being in the latest report FEM34-14.

 In July 2011, the King of Bhutan decided to replace GDP with Gross National Happiness (GNH), which integrates health, culture, the use of time. For the kingdom, the GNH is just as important as other economic indicators. Now, companies that choose to expand overseas take into account the human development index (HDI), a new indicator that measures quality of life. Since May 2011, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) provides an opportunity for citizens of the 34 member countries to evaluate and compare their well-being index by clicking on the OECD website. index “better life” takes into account 11 criteria (environment, health, education, work, housing …).

The French are the ones who suffer less from deprivation

In a report entitled “Evaluation of the transverse impact of consumption on the subjective well-being in the Euromed region,” the economists demonstrate the influence of economic conditions and in particular the consumption of goods and services on well-being . Consumption activities provide an opportunity for individuals to meet their needs and at the same to improve their quality of life. This very detailed report examines over 140 pages, the use of three categories of goods and services: those qualified as utilities to meet basic needs: food, clothing … Those qualified as hedonic, are intended to provide pleasure. Going to the movies, restaurants, museum, on a journey is not essential, but contributes to happiness. Finally, the “apparent” goods and services contribute to affirm the social status of people. ” If when aged 50, one does not possess a Rolex, he/she will have missed his/her life . ” Now famous, this little phrase of french advertising expert Jacques Ségéla  demonstrates how the trappings count in a consumer driven and self-image society.  Femise carried out a comparative study of the use and satisfaction of needs in the Mediterranean. It showed that the French are the ones who suffer less deprivation before Tunisians and Moroccans. In contrast, residents of Benin undergo daily hardships. The satisfaction of needs must, according to the report, be an integral part of public policy. Just as with social indices, indicators of economic production, the well-being of individuals will become increasingly important in political strategies. “Bread and circuses”! Caesar had understood before the hour, the need to feed and entertain Rome…

 Photo by Econostrum: The people of Benin undergo daily hardships. (Photo Vero).

Article par Nathalie Bureau du Colombier, Econostrum.

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