Gross National Happiness and Material Welfare in Bhutan and Japan

Choden, Tashi ; Kusago, Takayoshi ; Shirai, Kokoro

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Abstract

The purpose of this project is to take a closer look at Bhutan and Japan's experiences and outlook in terms of subjective wellbeing and economic growth. While the two countries contrast in many respects, in particular with respect to geography and the stage of economic development, they also share common features. Both are largely Buddhist countries, and both can be said to be at a critical stage in their socio-economic development, although in quite different ways. While Japan must find a way to overcome a decade of economic crisis and to cope with the requirements of post-modern development, Bhutan must find an answer to the questions of how to deal with the changes triggered by its fairly recent modernization policy and how to position itself in the global economy. The challenge for both is essentially the same: how can economic progress be harnessed for the happiness of the people? This study on Gross National Happiness and Material Welfare in Bhutan and Japan is an attempt to find some answers to this question, through the utilization of existing data on life satisfaction in Japan, and through a pilot survey inventorying people’s perceptions on happiness and wellbeing in Bhutan. With their many differences as well as similarities, Bhutan and Japan are two uniquely positioned countries in Asia providing an interesting opportunity to understand the relation between economic or material prosperity and people's subjective perceptions on what is most important for their wellbeing. Part One is the analysis report of the pilot survey carried out by the Centre for Bhutan Studies on psychological and subjective wellbeing (PWB/SWB) in Bhutan. Part Two is the report on relationship between economic prosperity and people's perceptions of their lives through the long-term trend data regularly collected by the government of Japan.

Document type: Book
Date: 2007
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 5 March 2009
ISBN: 99936 -14-40-2
Faculties / Institutes: Research Organisations / Academies > Centre for Bhutan Studies
DDC-classification: Social sciences
Controlled Subjects: Bhutan, Japan, Bruttonationalglück, Wohlfahrt
Uncontrolled Keywords: Materieller Wohlstand, Bhutan , Japan , Gross National Happiness , Welfare
Subject (classification): Sociology
Countries/Regions: other countries
Bhutan
Additional Information: Erstveröffentlichung unter: http://www.bhutanstudies.org.bt