155 – Bridging the gap between GDP and subjective wellbeing


We contribute to the debate on the relative pros and cons of using composite wellbeing indicators as a relevant source of information beyond (in addition to) GDP.

We use the set of the official Italian Sustainable and Equitable Wellbeing indicators and an ad hoc survey on expenditure preference weights on the same measures to create regional composite indicators combining positive (statistical) and normative (survey based) weighting approaches.

We show that the created multidimensional wellbeing indicators have significant additional explanatory power beyond GDP when regressed on a standard cognitive measure of regional subjective wellbeing (life satisfaction).

Paper findings support the hypothesis that multidimensional wellbeing indicators are useful to policymakers for capturing voter preferences and that various forms of aggregations (such as those proposed here) can solve the aggregation problem and obtain informationally rich synthetic wellbeing measures.


Keywords: GDP, subjective wellbeing, composite wellbeing indicators.

JEL Numbers: I31 (General Welfare, Well-Being) , I39 (Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty – Other).