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From GDP To Well-Being: Economics On The Road To Sustainability

Organized by:
Università Politecnica delle Marche
Faculty of Economics “Giorgio Fuà”
Department of Economics

Università Politecnica delle Marche
Piazzale Martelli, 8, Ancona, Italy  
3-5 December 2009


In the last decades, several Countries and International Organizations questioned the divergence between economic growth and well-being improvements. Empirical studies pointed out that income growth does not imply an increase in the quality of life and well-being enhancements. Economies are growing while social and income inequalities keep rising with new poverties and social exclusions. As a result, social capital and cohesion are weakened with effects on crime, violence and life satisfaction. There have been new tendencies in inter and intra generational mobility with respect to the previous evidence. Finally, economic growth is going to disclose the present and future costs associated with its present gains, as the environmental externalities.

These socio-economic phenomena call for a critical review of the nexus between economic growth and well-being. Does the GDP index tell us something about well-being measures? GDP does not include some positive components of well-being (social capital, social and cultural consumptions, etc.) but does account for components which have negative impact on well-being (pollution, inequalities, etc.). As a consequence, economic indicators are poor measures of well-being. The need for a better evaluation of the individual and collective well-being shifts the attention from the GDP measures towards alternative measures both at a macro - HDI, ISEW, GPI - and micro levels – subjective measures of well-being.

This conference is aimed at challenging the discussion on well-being measurement at a macro and micro level, with a focus on policy implications of GDP versus alternative measures. Sessions are devoted to well-being measurement, limits to growth and sustainability and policy implications.

Empirical contributions are particularly appreciated.


Topics of interest include among others:

  • Objective Measures of Well-being: HDI, ISEW, GPI, versus GDP.
  • Subjective Measures of Well-being: Happiness, Satisfaction, Mental Health, versus Income.
  • Alternative and New Measures of Well-being both at macro and micro level.
  • Leisure Time, Social capital, Relational goods, Cultural Values.
  • Land Use and Land Cover, Ecological footprint, Environmental Sustainability.
  • Policy Implications, Environmental and Social Policy.


Submission deadline (long abstract): July 31th, 2009
Notification of Acceptance: September 30th, 2009
Full papers: November 1st, 200

Scientific Committee

  • Paul Anand (Open University and Oxford University)
  • Stefano Bartolini (Università degli Studi di Siena)
  • Leonardo Becchetti (Università degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata")
  • Mauro Bonaiuti (Università degli Studi di Bologna)
  • Luigino Bruni (Università di Milano-Bicocca)
  • Andrew Clark (Paris School of Economics)
  • Giovanni Dosi (Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies)
  • Paolo Ercolani (Università Politecnica delle Marche)
  • Roberto Esposti (Università Politecnica delle Marche)
  • Paul Frijters (Queensland University of Technology)
  • Mauro Gallegati (Università Politecnica delle Marche)
  • Enrico Giovannini (OECD, Paris)
  • Daniel Kahneman (Princeton University)
  • Alan Kirman (Université Paul Cézanne Aix-Marseille III)
  • Tommaso Luzzati (Università degli Studi di Pisa)
  • Giuseppe Munda (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)
  • Alberto Niccoli (Università Politecnica delle Marche)
  • Pier Luigi Porta (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca)
  • Nick Nattavudh Powdthavee (University of York)
  • Barkley Rosser (George Mason University)
  • Fabio Sabatini (Università degli Studi di Siena)
  • Stefano Staffolani (Università Politecnica delle Marche)
  • Joseph Stiglitz (Columbia University, New York) Nobel Laureate
  • Enzo Tiezzi (Università degli Studi di Siena)
  • Alberto Zazzaro (Università Politecnica delle Marche)

Organizing Committee

Official web site

Please check the conference's official web site for updates and further details.


Università Politecnica delle Marche, Faculty of Economics “Giorgio Fuà”, Department of Economics

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