A new study by Rabobank on how people perceive their prosperity reveals contradictions both between and within municipalities, and people living in the wealthiest cities do not necessarily have to be themselves. I don’t think I’m the wealthiest.
“It’s important to consider below GDP at the regional level,” said Otto Raspe, economist at Rabo Research, who oversaw the study.
“Amsterdam is one of the Netherlands and the most dynamic economic region in Europe, but welfare inequality has made Amsterdam imbalanced and below average in terms of broad welfare.”
Wide range of welfare
Broad welfare is another way to measure a person’s well-being and can include other measures of prosperity, such as health, self-development, and safety, beyond what people produce, consume, and acquire. It focuses on the economic and social aspects of people’s lives and the balance between them. There are 11 categories defined by Rabobank economists: work-life balance, perceived life satisfaction, housing, education, environment, and social contact between them.
“GDP is often used as an indicator of welfare in science and international debate,” Raspe said. “It’s good for comparing economies, but it doesn’t reflect people’s values.”
Rabobank’s survey, released on Tuesday, was based on interviews with 10,000 people across the Netherlands. “Even in a small country, there are quite a few differences in broad welfare,” Laspe said.
Welfare is out of control if only a few people benefit from a strong economy, or if economic competitive practices have a negative impact on the environment. Despite the economic strength of the Dutch capital, he said the people of Amsterdam are not as happy as Twente. Happiness is one of the 11 indicators.
This seems to support the latest quality of life index from the cost of living database Numbeo. The Hague is third in quality of life and technology hub Eindhoven is tenth. In contrast, Amsterdam is in 39th place.th..
Think globally and act locally
“Policymakers should focus on location-based policies,” Raspe said. “Currently, Dutch policy sees general economics as if the challenges and opportunities are the same in all regions. They are not.”
Rabobank’s research aims to help policy makers make regional decisions and guide banks’ investment strategies.
“People want education, good work, and clean air, but that depends on the region,” he said. “The future path is to provide insights into what they want, where and the challenges people face in a good life.”
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