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Social Quality as a Measure for Social Progress


Yee, JaeYeol | Seoul National University

Chang, DukJin | Seoul National University


There is a growing recognition that GDP might not properly measure the real progress of a society. Although it is still a very useful measure, it was not designed to capture the social aspect of development. Accordingly, multiple attempts are being made to come up with a supplementary, or alternative, measure of social progress. As one such attempt, we focus on the concept and accompanying indicators of social quality originally devised by European scholars. Although social quality is a solid theoretical construct, we find that there are ambiguities when it comes to empirical application to the real world data. Analyses of data across 34 mostly OECD countries reveal that a modified concept and accompanying indicators better survive the reality check, but still consistent with the original concept of social quality. Using this modified set of indicators, we show the relative performance of these countries and suggest that there are three different types of social quality regime.


Keywords: Social Quality, Social Indicator, GDP


DEVELOPMENT AND SOCIETY

Volume 40 | Number 2 | December 2011, 153-172

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