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International Institute of Management

Happiness Economics

Socioeconomic Development Policy

Gross National Well-being (GNW) Index

Who Predicted the Financial Crisis | Economic Crisis | Debt Crisis | Currency Crisis Happiness Economics: Gross National Happiness / Wellbeing Index - The GNH / GNW Index

The Institute is recognized for the introduction of the first GNW Index for managing and measuring sustainable socioeconomic development in 2005. Inspired by the "Gross National Happiness (GNH)" phrase, coined by the fourth King of Bhutan in 1972, Med Jones designed the GNW Index to overcome the limitations of traditional economic development frameworks and metrics. The Index is considered a breakthrough in public policy innovation for the following two contributions:

1. Prior to the Index, there were many psychological surveys and research papers on the topic of happiness; however, few economists and government officials, if any, took seriously, the concept of happiness as a development policy; this was mainly due to the difficulty of measuring the subjective nature of "feelings". Mainstream economists did not consider happiness as a main policy objective. Few recognized the limitations of traditional economics and called for the development of alternative model, but they could not implement their vision due to the lack of a practical tool that integrates subjective and objective measures. The Index was the first published management framework to quantify happiness and integrate it into an econometric tool along other dimensions of health, political, socioeconomic and environmental well-being. 

2. International agencies and governments had large collections of statistical indicators that were used in silos to measure each individual sector performance; government officials could not "connect the dots" to make effective and efficient sustainable development decisions. The Index provided the first integrated 360-degree tool for economists and policy makers to effectively measure and manage the well-being of their citizens.

The GNW framework and Index opened the door for several international initiatives. The new science of happiness economics is filled with new and exciting developments that promise to advance well-being policy-making all over the world.



Who Predicted the Financial Crisis | Economic Crisis | Debt Crisis | Currency Crisis Industry Recognition


Government Policy: In The Pursuit of Personal and Political Happiness
The metric used by Med Jones is based on a series of statistical measurements and public opinion testing of what he calls economic wellness...Economic Wellness include issues like consumer and national debt, fairness of income distribution, and the relationship between and earnings and prices...Perhaps Mr. Cameron and President Sarkozy will discover that there are certain universal truths attached to what makes people and nations happy.

Alastair John Campbell,
Director of Strategy & Communications
for U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair

UK Government Tony Blair - Alastair John Cambell




Report for Congressman Hansen Clarke

Findings & Recommendations: Congress should prescribe the broad parameters of new, carefully designed supplemental national indicators; it should launch a bipartisan commission of experts to address unresolved methodological issues. … Med Jones’ (proposal)..to measure a generalized GNH by assessing seven different areas of wellness: economic, environmental, physical, mental, workplace, social, and political. Most wellness areas include both subjective results (via survey) and objective data.

Ben Beachy & Justin Zorn
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University



A New Socioeconomic Development Framework

For the past eight decades many scientists and politicians have recognized the limitations of Gross Domestic (GDP) and GNP centered public policy. However, only in the last decade the world has seen a real advancement in providing an alternative to GDP development model... Gross National Wellbeing or GNW, (Jones, 2005) a.k.a Gross National Happiness (GNH)...a policy making and measurement tool centered on mental and physical health and wellbeing with an integrated framework that measures subjective and objective wellbeing covering economic, health & safety, social and education, and government...After 2005, the research on the subject exploded. Several public, academic and private initiatives were launched by famous economists and organizations...After studying the literature, all initiatives from 2009 until 2016 use similar frameworks with similar dimensions, just rearranged or presented in different ways to suit the perspective of the authors...

The growing popularity and the influence of the GNW governance and development framework shows that it has raised the consciousness of many policy makers and millions of people regarding what really matters in terms of actionable public policies nothing is more important than mental and physical well-being. GNW can be used at the individual level, at the regional level as well as the national level. All investments of public time, effort, money and projects should be tested against this integrated multidimensional model instead of the production based model (GNP).

Permanent Secretary, NACC-CAMEROON

Gross National Well-Being (GNW) a.k.a. Gross National Happiness




Government of Goa: 2035 Vision and Roadmap
Happiness is treated as a socioeconomic development metric in 2006 by Med Jones. He tracked seven development areas. [The development council] proposes that Goa should become the first state in India to start the process of measuring happiness... Goa considers this to be the most critical socioeconomic development Indicator. The council also wishes Goa to be not only the happiness state in India but the world.

Med Jones - Happiness Economics - GNH - Goa, India
Report to Chief Minister (page 111)
Chairman and Members of the Goa Development Council
Government of State of Goa, India



Rethinking Policy Intervention: Green Growth
A second generation version of GNH proposed an index function of economic, environmental, mental, physical, workplace, political, and social wellness...Similar to Europe 2020, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has put an initiative called Strategy 2020 forward. In the past few decades, Asia and the Pacific region have been experiencing rapid growth. But concerns regarding the inclusiveness, sustainability and environmental impact demands a new development approach, innovative thinking and cooperative actions.

Med Jones - Well-Being and Happiness Economics - Nepal
Bhishma Bhusal, PhD Economics
Under Secretary at National Reconstruction Authority
Government of Nepal

Dubai Government
His kind participation [in the forum] which has had significant impact on helping in people's happiness, serving community, and for social partnership.

Dubai Government - UAE - Happiness Economics - Happiness Ministry - Med Jones


Major General Mohammed Al Marri
Head of the commission for social development
Director General, GDRFA
Dubai, UAE



Joint Strategic Needs Assessment:

Key Findings and Recommendations (Well-being / Happiness)
There is a strong argument for gaining a better understanding of the happiness of a population. Jones states that the “mental and emotional well-being of citizens improves their performance and broadens the intellectual, physical and social resources of a nation.”.. Happiness and wellbeing are inexplicably linked to health, mental health as well as economic factors... The work of the public sector as a whole is to reduce unhappiness.

Med Jones - Well-Being and Happiness Economics - England, UK

JSNA Steering Board
England, United Kingdom



Lunch with a Leader: How to Be Happy..A Decade of Happiness Study

If there’s one thing that Med Jones, one of the few economists to predict the Great Recession of 2008, wants the world to know, it’s how to be happy... Jones set out to explore a subject that many purveyors of ‘the dismal science’ usually deem untouchable... “Unless you provide them [economists] with the framework to manage and track the well-being and happiness of their people they’re not going to do anything about it,” he says...[Jones has] a level of insight into happiness that might rival that of an ancient sage.

Med Jones - Happiness Economics - Al-Arabiya News

Paul Crompton, Journalist
Al Arabiya News Channel
Saudi Arabia



Real Solutions for a Troubled Economic System
Med Jones, President of International Institute of Management proposed tracking seven wellness areas (for Gross National Happiness)

Prof. Philip Kotler, PhD
Kellogg School of Management
Northwestern University

Real Solutions for Troubled Economic Systems - Philip Kotler


Psychology Today Journal
The enhancement of current data-based indices for annual reporting on state and regional levels of sustainable peace. This project could build on the Global Peace Index for measuring and reporting on sustainable peace worldwide, but integrate promotive, pro-social assessments. This initiative could be informed by such initiatives as the Gross National Happiness Index (Med Jones, 2006), the eight bases of a Culture of Peace (UN Resolution A/RES/52/13), and the Peace Scale (Klein, Goertz & Diehl, 2008).

Professor Dr. Peter T. Coleman
Director of the ICC and Conflict Resolution
Columbia University



Pioneering Economists
In 2005, Med Jones, an unorthodox American economist, proposed what might be the most important contribution to global socioeconomic development and public policies. He introduced the first Gross National Happiness / Well-being (GNH / GNW) model that utilized a multidimensional development framework and created the first global GNW / GNH Index as a progress measurement tool. The GNH Index served as a blueprint for later well-being development frameworks and happiness econometric models…

Prominent economists that followed in this economist's footsteps are Joseph Stiglitz (USA), Amartya Sen (India), Jean-Paul Fitoussi (France). In 2009, they published a report commissioned by (former) President of France, Mr. Sarkozy, calling for a global "statistical system which goes beyond commercial activity to measure personal well-being”. In the same year, the famous Gallup Poll launched a global well-being index survey based on a subset of the global GNH Index. In 2014 the renowned Michael Porter launched the social progress Index (SPI).

Sara Stenberg
Senior Research Fellow
GNH Institute





Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiate

A professor of economics Deirdre McCloskey (Chicago University) argues that a sense of happiness are the words of particular moment but the first Gross National Happiness (GNH) Survey analysed satisfaction of people using seven different indicator (Jones).... there is an apparent difference in providing social wellbeing by GDP and GNH indexes: the first one reflects material and economic wealth, the second one social aspect, i.e. satisfaction with life in general.

Med Jones - Well-Being and Happiness Economics - Europe
Aija Freimane, Professor
Research Proceedings, Latvia


American Society of Public Administration - Environmental Policy

GNH, like ecological economics, embraces a systems approach, connecting many components of the the human system in order to determine overall happiness

Prof. Chad McGuire
University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth


U Mass USA - Med Jones






Happiness Research

Happiness Economics and Public Policy

Happiness Articles

Happiness Psychology

Happiness Training

  • Happiness and Well-being Development Workshop

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Who Predicted the Financial Crisis | Economic Crisis | Debt Crisis | Currency Crisis Media and Research Reference Links

International researchers referencing GNW / GNH socioeconomic Index and development framework

Gross National Happiness (GNH) - GNH 2.0 - Happiness Economics Other Subject Matter Expertise:

Jones is also widely quoted on the crisis economics, gross national happiness GNH, and strategic leadership. He provides strategy consulting and education to Governments and the global Fortune 1000 companies.

Gross National Happiness (GNH) - GNH 2.0 - Happiness Economics Contact information

  • For speaking and consulting engagements, or for info about new studies, research data, or expert opinion, please send your questions or interview requests using contact us form.



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Last Updated: March 9, 2017