Economic growth and mental well-being in Italian regions


Measuring economic growth is not only an arithmetic problem, it also involvesan economic vision and a philosophy for the choice of indicators (i.e.Gross Domestic Product). Today it seems more relevant to measure not onlythe economic well-being as it is, using Gross Domestic Product, but also thepeople's well-being, considering other dimensions such as health and happiness.Over the years, national accounts and Gross Domestic Product havenever changed their nature, instead combining social and economic indicatorscan oer important indications for well-being research. As pointed outby the World Health Organization, health is well-being, but it is not alwayscoincident with a high level of Gross Domestic Product. In particular, asregards the mental health condition it has become an important aspect inmeasuring people's well-being. Mental health has been considered an importantsignal of the society's discomfort due to economic growth that, generally,is argued to be caused by the disamenities of the "industrial lifestyle". Thisstudy involves an empirical investigation using a panel econometric model inItalian regions, considering antidepressant expenditures per capita (an expressionof society's unhappiness) as dependent variable and, as covariates,the old age index, the poverty rate, the employment rate, the Neet rate, andthe percentage of public expenditure in services.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i20705948v13n2p498

Keywords: GDP, happiness, national accounts, well-being

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