Wang, Anke

Project title: Incorporating Subjective Well-Being (SWB) into the Human Development Index (HDI)

Department: Economics

Faculty supervisor: Dr. Merwan Engineer

"In my research project, I focus on factors that can reflect the level of human development. Although the Human Development Index (HDI) is better and more comprehensive than per capita Gross Domestic Product, it still has some problems in its indicators and practical calculating process. Whereas there has been substantial work on improving the objective measures in the HDI, such as inequality into the analysis, not much research has looked at including subjective well-being (SWB) measures into the analysis. Therefore, I will pay attention to individual satisfaction towards the quality of life, social environment and other factors. My paper combines objective human development components along with subjective well-being measures. In addition, the weights on the different dimensions will be endogenously determined through a Principle Component Analysis or entropy method base on objective data rather than keep with the arbitrary equal weighting that has been criticized in the literature. Thus, a new “human development and well-being index” will be created, which includes the average life expectancy, educational level, net assets per capita, and individual satisfaction. I will then compare the ranking of nations generated by my new index with the existing HDI and other popular indexes."