International Comparisons of Living Standards by Equivalent Incomes
We propose a measure of living standards for international comparisons. It is based on GDP per capita, in PPP, and incorporates corrections for international flows of income, labour, risk of unemployment, healthy life expectancy, household demography, inequalities and sustainability. The method for comparing populations which differ in some non-income dimension consists in computing the equivalent variation of income which would make each population indifferent between its current situation and a reference situation with respect to the non-income dimension. This is applied to twenty-four OECD countries. The results show that, even though final living standards are correlated with GDP per capita, the final ranking of countries differs substantially from GDP rankings.
Living standards; social welfare; GDP; equivalent income; OECD; indicators
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