In this chapter, Professor Sachs talks about how gross domestic product (GDP) per person, as a rough measure of living standards and well-being, is increasingly being used to make comparisons of quality of life between countries. However, GDP per capita, as conventionally measured, doesn’t take it account many measures that are important for our well-being. When we differentiate between countries, it is important to take into account differences in population size (for example). Six randomly selected economies are compared in terms of their living standards. This chapter also describes various other measures for well-being including life expectancy at birth, the human development index (HDI), the Happiness index, and the Sustainable Development Goal index.
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