Broadening the Public and Policy Discourse
Edited by Timo J. Hämäläinen and Juliet Michaelson
Chapter 12: Well-being for growth and democracy in the EU
Is leisure an asset or a liability for the economy? Why should activities such as cleaning, cooking and caring be considered productive only when they are performed outside of the household? Should air pollution be taxed? Are health policies designed for adding life to years? Is the way that services are delivered sufficiently taken into account in schools, care institutions, hospitals, prisons and workplaces? Should the well-being cost of unemployment be deducted from the cost of active labour market policies? How should macroeconomic policies be designed, decided and implemented in order to integrate the findings of well-being research? What are the life management skills that should be made compulsory in school curricula? Are civic activities adequately supported and recognized as being meaningful to the general improvement of well-being? Is 'sense of coherence' a measurable indicator of well-being? These questions, which sample some of the issues discussed in this book, are particularly topical in policy-making circles. Some of the required information and policy measures relating to these issues already exist at regional, national and EU levels. For example, time-use surveys provide gender-disaggregated information on the time spent doing household chores, as well as on caring for relatives. A global greenhouse gas reduction strategy is implemented by the EU to fight climate change and improve the quality of the environment.
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