Could happiness index be the new GDP? -

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Could happiness index be the new GDP?

French president Nicholas Sarkozy has suggested the population’s sense of wellbeing should be measured alongside financial output when judging a country’s economic performance.

Mr Sarkozy urged world leaders to adopt a new method of assessment to escape what he described as a "cult of figures", France-based expatriate workers may be interested to hear.

His comments follow the release of a report, commissioned by the president, suggesting new indexes measuring environmental sustainability and overall happiness should be created.

Conducted by Nobel Prize-winning economists Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, the study found Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to be just one indication of a nation’s value.

An eco-friendly economy, good work-life balance and broad access to public services could also be contributing factors, they suggested.

Voicing his support for the findings, Mr Sarkozy said: "The current crisis doesn’t only make us free to imagine other models, another future and another world. It obliges us to do so."

Recent reports have revealed the French president is planning to confront G20 leaders on a further issue at next week’s summit in Pittsburgh.

Mr Sarkozy has allegedly threatened to walk out of talks unless members agree to curb bonuses for bank bosses.


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