France Espouses Hapiness Economics in Development Indicators


Speaking at the last G20 summit, Sarkozy has adopted measures of happiness and joie de vivre into its calculations on how to measure France's progress. His change of heart comes after receiving recommendations from development economists Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen.

However, some say that this kind of measurement might be aimed at making France, a country reknowned for its 35 hour work week,pleasant work/life balance and fanciful cuisine, look better than cold statistics would make it out to be.

According to the Telegraph:

He said: "A great revolution is waiting for us. For years, people said that finance was a formidable creator of wealth, only to discover one day that it accumulated so many risks that the world almost plunged into chaos.'

"The crisis doesn't only make us free to imagine other models, another future, another world. It obliges us to do so."

When the measures are adopted, France will move a step closer to the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, currently the only country in the world which puts happiness at the heart of government policy.

In Bhutan, the government must consider every policy for its impact on "Gross National Happiness". This has led to a ban on advertising, wrestling channels, plastic bags and traffic lights.

Mr Sarkozy told a packed hall at Paris' Sorbonne university the world could have predicted last year's economic crisis if it had looked at happiness, wellbeing and sustainability.

The French government is now planning to include many of the "happiness" indicators in its regular growth statistics.

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