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ERIC Number: ED150085
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Aug
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Measuring the Right Thing.
Campbell, Angus
Economic analysis of the quality of life in America must consider personal values and social indicators as well as economic indicators. Although the technical procedures and statistical techniques of economic research are constantly improving, the validity of the research is hampered by problems of definition and measurement. Definition and measurement efforts exclude subjective indicators from the concept of life quality in order to concentrate on objective indicators such as standard of living, educational attainment, and professional and technical employment. Most economic researchers maintain that subjective values are intangible and unmeasureable. While agreeing that the ordered scales commonly used to assess subjective values are less precise than most economic data, the paper argues that these subjective measurements must be included in any discussion of life quality because they are at least attempts to measure the right thing. Data which can contribute to measuring subjective indicators include number of tickets sold to an artistic performance (to indicate aesthetic pleasure); vacation days (to indicate leisure enjoyment); and crime rate (to indicate fear of crime among residents of a particular area). The conclusion is that subjective values must be included in any valid economic analysis of life quality because they are too significant to ignore. (Author/DB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Statistical Association (Chicago, Illinois, August 15-18, 1977)