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Study Notes

Economic Well-Being

AS, A-Level, IB
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

Last updated 8 Aug 2019

The measure of a nation’s well-being goes beyond the level of and rate of growth of GDP. Economic well-being is a multi-dimensional concept.


Well-being might be measured for example using data on:

  1. Surveys of Life Satisfaction
  2. Years of healthy life expectancy
  3. Median Household Income
  4. Household Net Wealth
  5. Percentage of people in vulnerable employment
  6. Civic / democratic participation rates
  7. Feelings of safety and security

The economist Simon Kuznets helped to standardise the measurement of GNP in the 1930s. But he disapproved its use as a general indication of welfare, writing that “the welfare of a nation can scarcely be inferred from a measure of national income”

The Gig Economy

Many more people now work in jobs associated with the Gig Economy. These are jobs characterised by non-contract work, freelancing often using digital platforms such as Uber and Deliveroo.

A recent RSA/Ipsos Mori survey found that 59% of respondents working the gig economy are in professional, creative and administrative fields, with 18% providing skilled manual services (such as plumbing); 20% of the respondents worked as couriers or drivers, and another 17% in personal services such as cleaning. (Source: Coyle, NIESR, May 2017)

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