Friday, August 12, 2022

How do we measure living standards

Very often in HL and SL IB Economics exams, candidates are asked questions that relate to living standards and how can we compare across countries or through time.  The new syllabus pays even more attention to this topic so it is recommended that student research it more.

One thing to keep in mind is that even Simon Kuznets, the economist who developed national income and product accounts, warned against using per capita income as a way to make such comparisons.  

A December 2021 article by Benjamin, Cooper and Kimball, titled Measuring the Essence of the Good Life is, in my opinion at least, a must read for any serious student of IB Economics walking into May or November final exams. It was published in Finance & Development, an IMF free publication.  This publication has numerous (short!) articles that perfectly align with the requirements of our syllabus. And students (or an instructor) can request free hard copies.  Many of my students have and they thoroughly enjoy it!

The link to this interesting and useful  article is here: Measuring the Essence of the Good Life (8 minutes read)

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