Welcome to Intro to Economics Class


Students Work
Business Ethics Call

Does a high GDP equal a higher quality of life?

After reading the chapter on "Keeping Score" from Naked Economics by Wheelan you should have a better understanding of how an economist would judge a different countries. He expressed in the reading that there are certain indicators that would be looked at to tell how good an economy is. This would include Unemployment, Income Equality, Size of Government, Budget Surplus/Deficit, National Savings, and Demographics. But with this information can we really tell if people are truly happy. One of the age old questions that we must face is "Does money equal happiness?" Let us think about this for a second. We live in an industrialized country were competition drives education, job security, and business success/failure. Would life be better if we were on an island with less material but living with less stress? Let us know ponder on the question:

Does a high GDP equal a higher quality of life?

In groups of two you will be researching the correlation between GDP and the quality of life. Answer the questions below and analyze the data to the best of your ability. Use complete sentences were allocable.

Names in Group:
Name of Country:
Current GDP of Country:
Current GDP per Capita:
Jason & Myung-Jin
$45.51 billion
Il-Jee and Youn Suk
$336.1 billion
Jen Park and Paul
$718.4 billion
Stephanie and Erica
$258 billion
Jenny and Jenny
$6.6 billion
Jurie and Narie
$967 billion
Joon, Su-eun and Ed
$640.4 billion

Research the following factors of a “Quality” Life and write down some observations. We will use the formula from Naked Economics but we will also look at a couple of other factors to make things a bit more confusing:

1. Environment

2. Culture

3. Unemployment

4. Income Equality

5. Size of Government

6. Budget Surplus/Deficit

7. National Savings

8. Demographics.

9. Crime

After completing your research answer the following questions as a group. Each answers needs to be in paragraph form.

1. What correlations did you observe between GDP and Standard of Life? Give examples.
2. What other measurable factors do you think make a higher standard of living?
3. Which factor in your opinion is the most important when if come to a high standard of living?
4. At what number would you currently place yourself in term of standard of living on a scale of 1-10 (1 lowest / 10 highest). Why?
5. Could you see yourself living in a country that has a lower GDP than Korea does? Why or why not?
6. Does a high GDP equal a higher quality of life? Why or why not?

Here is a list of links that can help you with your research:

World Fact Book: A great place to get a start. Just pick your country and off you go!

Happy Planet Map: This site measures happiness in terms of well being and environment.

Nation Master: A great place to get more information! This particular link is setup with statistics for a happiness index. Not all countries are represented but there may be other information that can help.

TED- Dan Gilbert: A lecture that discuss why we are happy or not happy. Just a way to see how all academic disciplines are connected one way or another.

If you find more links that could help other students please submit them. Make sure to include a quick explanation of what it is and make the link.