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What is Welfare?

Author(s): Bent Greve

Journal: Central European Journal of Public Policy
ISSN 1802-4866

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 50;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: welfare | social indicators | happiness | well-being | welfare state | social welfare

This article discusses the meaning of "welfare". It asks whether or not it is solely to be understood in monetary terms or whether it is necessary to include non-monetary aspects such as happiness. It asks what the social science understanding of welfare has to offer and what its implications are for the data which is needed to measure welfare—the measurement of welfare being dependant on our understanding of the concept. Furthermore, the article distinguishes between micro- and macro-level understandings of the concept and presents indicators of the two levels. Finally, a tentative ranking of 10 EU countries with regard to welfare is offered.
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