Wellbeing economy monitor

The monitor brings together a range of indicators to provide a baseline for assessing progress towards the development of a wellbeing economy in Scotland.

2. Framework for the Monitor

The causal relationships between issues such as employment, health and environmental sustainability are highly complex.

There are a range of approaches to capturing the various domains which are relevant to collective wellbeing. For example, the OECD maintains the Better Life Index, which allows users to compare countries across 11 topics the OECD has identified as essential, in the areas of material living conditions and quality of life.

The well-established four capitals approach gives us a simplifying framework. It tells us that maintaining, investing in and sustaining our stocks of natural, human, social and produced/financial "capitals" – or resources - will enable our long-term progress towards collective wellbeing. By focusing on future as well as current wellbeing, this set of measures also provides a rounded picture of the resilience of the economy.

The four capitals approach was explained in Towards a Robust, Resilient Wellbeing Economy for Scotland: Report of the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery. In that report the four capitals were labelled environment, people, community and business. For the purposes of the Wellbeing Economy Monitor, we have used slightly different names for the four capitals but the meaning remains the same. The Advisory Group's description is summarised in the figure below:

Figure 1: Advisory Group for Economic Recovery Four Capitals representation


Email: polly.legrand@gov.scot

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