Modeling as a Tool for Planning

robertoBy Roberto Telleria

What are the determinants of wellbeing, and how can they be influenced by policies? As pointed out by experts such as John Helliwell, Co-Director of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) (Helliwell, 2002), Professor Richard Easterlin of the University of Southern California (Easterlin, 2001) and Christian Grootaert of the World Bank (Grootaert, 1999), the determinants vary according to geographical location, age, gender, time, and other economic, social and psychological variables. Thus the question of what determines wellbeing is complex. The level of wellbeing of a household seems to be a question that every member of that household can answer themselves, but this answer relies on their perceptions of what constitutes a high quality of living, family life, health, education, and the environment.

In this short article the complexities involved in modeling the interactions between the variables that determine wellbeing, and those that determine policies, are presented. Two examples illustrating the interactions between health and deforestation, that in turn affect wellbeing, are discussed. Read More »


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