Measuring people's wellbeing: the BCFN Index
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Measuring people's wellbeing: the BCFN Index

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The discussion about the need to broaden the horizon of indicators for the governance of society and the economy, in particular for the measurement of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), has been going ...

The discussion about the need to broaden the horizon of indicators for the governance of society and the economy, in particular for the measurement of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), has been going on for some time, and has recently aroused a widespread process of reflection. It has by now been largely demonstrated how economic analyses based exclusively on the GDP can often be misleading.
The goal of the work performed by the BCFN on this subject is therefore that of including and evaluating, within a multidimensional index for the measurement and comparison of the level of well-being of the people in a selected group of developed countries, the element connected with the diet and lifestyles.

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Measuring people's wellbeing: the BCFN Index Measuring people's wellbeing: the BCFN Index Document Transcript

  • Measuring people’s wellbeing: the BCFN Index people, environment, science, economy
  • people, environment, science, economy www.barillacfn.com info@barillacfn.com Advisory Board: Barbara Buchner, Claude Fischler, Jean-Paul Fitoussi, Mario Monti, Gabriele Riccardi, Camillo Ricordi, Joseph Sassoon, Umberto Veronesi. In collaboration with: The European House-Ambrosetti Graphics, paging, editing: Burson-Marsteller Photo by: National Geographic Image Collection
  • Contents The Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition 3 1. WELLBEING AND HOW TO MEASURE IT 6 2. THE BCFN’S APPROACH ON THE THEME 10 3. THE BCFN INDEX 16 3.1 Methodology 18 3.2 Lifestyle sub-index 21 3.2.1 Psycho-physical wellbeing 22 3.2.2 Behavioural wellbeing 23 3.2.3 Lifestyle sub-index summary results 24 3.3 Wealth and Sustainability sub-index 25 3.3.1 Material wellbeing 25 3.3.2 Environmental wellbeing 26 3.3.3 Wealth and Sustainability sub-index summary results 27 3.4 Social and Interpersonal sub-index 28 3.4.1 Educational wellbeing 28 3.4.2 Social wellbeing 30 3.4.3 Political wellbeing 30 3.4.4 Social and Interpersonal sub-index summary results 32 3.5 The BCFN Index: main results 32 3.5.1 Sensitivity analysis on the BCFN Index 33 4. CONCLUSIONS AND NEXT STEPS 34 Contents - 1
  • The future of food is growing with us. 2 Measuring people’s wellbeing: the BCFN Index
  • The Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition is a think tank with a multi-disciplinary approach whose goal is to gather the most authoritative thinking on an international level regarding issues linked to the world of food and nutrition. Its areas of study and analysis include culture, the environment, health and the economy, and - within these areas - it intends proposing solutions to take on the food challenges to be faced over the coming years. Specifically, the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition intends to provide a forum for the current and future needs of our society in terms of major themes tied to food and nutrition, identify key issues, bring together and examine the most advanced, cutting-edge experiences, knowledge and competencies available today on a world level. Its end-purpose is to develop and make available considerations, proposals and recommendations aimed at promoting better living and general, sustainable health and well-being for everyone. Interpreting such complex phenomena requires a methodology which goes beyond the confines of individual disciplines and this was the approach adopted for the four thematic areas – Food for Sustainable Growth, Food for Health, Food for All, Food for Culture – in which, in its first year, the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition prepared and circulated five Position Papers, providing a reasoned overview of the available scientific findings and an original analytical perspective on the phenomena covered. Through these documents, the BCFN not only expressed its own position, but also proposed a series of recommendations for individuals, the business world and the public sector. In each area, at least one specific advisor was named, selected for his or her expertise and professional experience in the field: Barbara Buchner (expert in energy issues, climate change and the environment) for the Food for Sustainable Growth area; Mario Monti and Jean-Paul Fitoussi (economists) for the Food For All area; Umberto Veronesi (oncologist), Gabriele Riccardi (nutritionist) and Camillo Ricordi (immunologist) for the Food for Health area; Joseph Sassoon and Claude Fischler (sociologists) for the Food for Culture area. The Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition - 3
  • 4 Measuring people’s wellbeing: the BCFN Index
  • The awareness that all-round personal wellbeing depends on a number of variables which are not based exclusively on economic and material elements considered for the purposes of policy-making is making increasing headway. These aspects are linked to lifestyle, food choices, health and environmental protection. This document – which represents a preview of an ongoing commitment and which aims to take on a mainly methodological approach – represents the first contribution to the construction of a multi-dimensional index to measure the level of personal wellbeing in a selected group of developed countries. The work plan includes the issue of the first version of the index, supported by all detailed elements, by the end of 2010, as well as further steps for updating and impro- vement in future. The innovative nature of the BCFN Index, compared to other existing indices, lies above all in the choice of measuring and appropriately “weighing” many factors lin- ked to lifestyle and diet. Factors which, according to the adopted perspective, signifi- cantly affect human wellbeing and environmental sustainability. 5
  • Steve Raymer/National Geographic Image Collection to measure it 1. Wellbeing and how
  • There is no one single dimension of wellbeing, but rather a number of possible dimensions, 1. which together contribute to defining the overall meaning. There are economic and more so- Wellbeing and cial aspects; there are environmental and political aspects and significant personal elements how to measure it linked to health and the way of life of societies and people. However long, a detailed list of the possible factors able to affect any dimension of individual wellbeing would of course be incomplete, as there are so many aspects – even just theoretical ones – that go to make up a complete definition. In short, there is no one single dimension of wellbeing. The complexity of the phe- nomenon is such that, strictly speaking, it doesn’t seem possible to “actually” measure wellbeing. Nonetheless, it is possible to make a rough estimate, as has often been at- tempted throughout the course of history with the help of instruments made available by progress. This evidence leads to the first methodological choice we made, also based on the most thorough experiences in this field: that of attempting to consider the largest number of factors, avoiding definitions which emphasise one particular aspect or element above the others. Wellbeing is therefore primarily the result of an objective condition linked to the bal- anced occurrence of a very broad set of positive, or at least not negative, phenomena. Not only is it difficult to offer a complete framework for the “wellbeing” phenomenon: we also need to qualify the investigative perspective. If we choose to adopt the individual as the focal point of the survey, obtaining a wellbeing estimate poses one further, fundamen- tal problem, linked to the logic for choosing, measuring and pondering the various factors that help define individual wellbeing. In fact, when the perspective is that of a human being, there are as many objective factors as there are subjective wellbeing factors. On one hand, the approach used is that of measuring the factual elements of the existence of people, which are gathered and assessed objectively because they are disassociated from a partial, personal vision. On the other hand, the logic measures the assessment which individuals themselves give of their lives, and of surveying the interpretation of objective phenomena which each person subjectively formulates. It is the major, unresolved and irresolvable dis- tance between what exists and what is perceived. It seems neither possible nor correct to consider only one of the two aspects, when in some cases these do not coincide even regard- ing the “hallmark” of a phenomenon, or the value attributed to an aspect that contributes to the definition of wellbeing. How then can we fill the gap between objective measurements and subjective per- ceptions? One way is to ask individuals to assess the latter themselves. This would make gauging individual wellbeing more complete, and bring it closer to truly assessing the qual- ity of life of people. Nonetheless, this process would involve highly subjective elements in gauging wellbeing, making comparisons between individuals and different countries very complex. The other way is to remain within the framework of objective measurements, expanding the range of phenomena deemed to co-determine wellbeing. The aim here is to arrive asymptotically at a measurement of wellbeing which is as close as possible to the “real” one. This second course, however, is not totally without its pitfalls. Firstly, whilst statisti- cal measuring techniques provide the foundation for the indicators used, their methodology involves major simplifications and a set of necessary conventions. Secondly, they involve one basic trade-off. On one side, a smaller number of variables observed and estimated has the advantage of focusing and limiting the potential distortions involved in the multiple calcula- tion of the end effect on the phenomenon being analysed in the survey. This can be caused by the inclusion of different interpretations and variables within the model itself, even if they are linked by the fact that they partly register the same phenomenon needed for the pur- pose of the survey. On the other hand, the choice of a limited number of variables necessarily 8 Measuring people’s wellbeing: the BCFN Index
  • pays the price with a very “approximate” description of the scenario. It creates the risk of not considering a set of elements that can play a truly significant role, a risk that gets greater as we get closer to phenomena where it is the individual that is the focus of interest. In any case, the version of the index presented in this document is of an objective nature. Despite this, we are aware of the need to introduce subjective measuring elements, linked at least to the definition of the weighting system which constitutes its framework. As can be seen, gauging the wellbeing of individuals is complex and, in some respects, does not give any definitive solutions. Despite all the difficulties, however, as effectively recalled by Fitoussi, Sen and Stiglitz in the final report of the Commission on the Measurement of Eco- nomic Performance and Social Progress, “What we measure influences what we do”. Defining and measuring the wellbeing of man in a way that is as inclusive, widely-shared and relevant to the complexities of the situation in question as possible is not just a fascinating challenge for social scientists, but also a fundamental step towards defining better political and eco- nomic choices and therefore a better world all round. 1. Wellbeing and how to measure it - 9
  • Kenneth Garrett/National Geographic Image Collection on the theme 2. The BCFN’s approach
  • The debate regarding the need to expand the range of indicators for governing society 2. and economics, in particular for measuring the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) 1, has been The BCFN’s approach ongoing for some time now. Recently, both abroad and in Italy, it has triggered a series of on the theme considerations. It is a well-established fact that economic analyses based wholly on GDP are often mislead- ing. We need only to consider that in the years immediately before the recent economic crisis, the GDP was unable to distinguish between “healthy” and “artificial” growth; or that in the event of a natural catastrophe, the GDP increases thanks to reconstruction expenses, whilst the cost of the catastrophe itself is not accounted for, and social wellbeing certainly does not improve. Whilst remaining a good indicator of economic growth, GDP is not therefore suitable for gauging aspects linked to the progress and wellbeing of people: in fact it does not take assets that do not have a market into account. It does not consider negative external factors – or costs created by manufacturing (pollution, unsustainable exploitation of resources, loss of biodiversity, etc.), the quality of public expenditure, and so forth. On this theme, Robert F. Kennedy gave a now famous speech at the University of Kansas on 18 March 1968: “We will find neither national purpose nor personal satisfaction in a mere con- tinuation of economic progress, in an endless amassing of worldly goods. We can- not measure national spirit by the Dow Jones Average, nor national achievement by the Gross National Product. For the Gross National Product includes air pollution and advertising for cigarettes, and ambulances to clear our weekend highway carnage. It counts special locks for our doors, and jails for the people who break them. It includes television programmes that glorify violence to sell violent goods to our children. It increases with the production of napalm, missiles and nuclear warheads, and it also includes research for improving dissemination of the bubonic plague. It increases with the equipment the police uses to put down riots, and does nothing but increase when slums are built on their ashes. The Gross National Product does not allow for the health of our families, the qual- ity of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our family values, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It fails to take account of justice in our courts, nor fairness in relations between us. The gross national product measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile; and it can tell us everything about America except whether we are proud to be Americans.” 1 The GDP is the sum calculated with the market value of all assets and services produced in a country within a given period of time, which is generally one year. When compared to the population (per capita GDP), it makes it possible to compare different countries, regions or other sub-national units over time and space. Generally speaking, it is the first indicator used for diagnosing the economic and social situation and comparing between different contexts. In the form of a growth rate, it represents the main indicator for assessing the performance of a country or region over the course of time. 12 Measuring people’s wellbeing: the BCFN Index
  • Already in 1934, the “father” of the GDP, Simon Kuznets 2, declared to Congress of the United States that wellbeing and GDP are two separate things: “The wellbeing of a nation (…) cannot easily be deduced from a national income index”. In economic literature, it is possible to find many examples of descriptive multidimen- sional indicators 3, created with an end to measuring the wellbeing and quality of life for a given nation, region, city, etc. This measurement is made by combining a number of indica- tors which focus on crucial aspects; whether directly or indirectly, these influence the quality of life of individuals and communities, and indeed determine them. By way of example, they can include education and training indicators, or others regarding employment, indicators for the environment, energy, health, human rights, available income, infrastructure, public and private safety, recreational and cultural activities, and so forth. An important contribution was recently provided to the debate by a commission made up of thirty economists of global stature 4, presided over by Nobel Prize winners Joe Sti- glitz and Amartya Sen as well as French economist Jean-Paul Fitoussi 5, appointed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to study and propose alternatives to the GDP. The Commission did not identify a new summary indicator, but it did draft a series of rec- ommendations 6, which have been summed up to follow. They are useful for understand- ing social wellbeing in its many dimensions n Material wellbeing should be assessed in terms of family nucleus, taking into con- sideration the income and consumption rather than production. Moreover, greater emphasis should be placed on the distribution of income, consumption and wealth: an average increase does not necessarily correspond with an increase for everyone; n It is also necessary to develop measurements and statistics for non-market activi- ties, as wellbeing also depends on activities that do not give rise to market exchang- es, such as services provided directly between individuals (for example activities and services provided within the family, looking after the sick and the elderly, etc.); n It is necessary to take into consideration the multi-dimensional nature of the mea- surement of wellbeing, which not only touches on economic conditions, but also on education, health, the quality of democracy, social networks, the environment and safety; n Attention should be dedicated to environmental sustainability, in order to measure growth including the destruction of resources and the risks of climate change; n The services offered by the State should not be measured according to their costs, as currently occurs with the GDP, but based on their impact on the wellbeing of citizens. 2 American economist and Nobel economics prize winner. 3 On an international level, the following can be mentioned by way of example: n the Measure of Economic Welfare (MEW) defined by William Nordhaus and James Tobin; n the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) defined by the Redefining Progress Institute; n the Index of Economic Well-Being (IEWB) defined by the Centre for the Study of Living Standards; n the Index of Social Health (ISH) defined by Fordham University; n the Index of Living Standards (ILS) defined by the Fraser Institute; n the Human Development Index (HDI) drafted by the United Nations Development Program; n the Quality of Life Index (QOL) drafted by Ed Diener of the University of Illinois; n the Index of Social Progress (ISP) drafted by Richard Estes of the University of Pennsylvania; n the BC Stats Index of Regional Indicators; n the Oregon Benchmarks created by the Oregon Progress Board. The WWF has for years been working on the “Beyond GDP” process with the European Parliament, the European Commission, OCSE and the Club of Rome (www.beyond-gdp.eu). In Italy, we can recall by way of example the work conducted by the Enrico Mattei Foundation, which this year published the 15th edition of the FEEM index (www.feemsi.org) constructed around the basis of an aggregate of variables with the objective of including the environmental and social sustainability of development as well; the quality of life index of Il Sole 24 Ore; the quality of life survey of Italia Oggi; and the Ecosistema Urbano report drafted by Legambiente in conjunction with Ambiente Italia and Il Sole 24 Ore. 4 For Italy, the Commission saw the participation of Enrico Giovannini, Chairman of ISTAT, the National Institute of Statistics. 5 Professor of Economics, Chairman of the Scientific Board of the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris and Chairman of the Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Economiques. Professor Fitoussi is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition. 6 Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz, Chair, Columbia University; Professor Amartya Sen, Chair Adviser, Harvard University; Professor Jean-Paul Fitoussi, Coordinator of the Commission, IEP, “Report by the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress” 2. The BCFN’s approach on the theme - 13
  • Gordon Gahan/National Geographic Image Collection 14 Measuring people’s wellbeing: the BCFN Index
  • Moreover, regarding the non-material dimension of wellbeing, it is necessary to remem- ber the importance of free time, and the need to measure social relations, the political “voice” and the safety or vulnerability of individuals. Finally and more generally, it notes that both objective and subjective measures should be taken into consideration, and that it is necessary to have indicators of the sus- tainability of wellbeing over time, which chiefly manifest problems linked to the environ- ment. In these first two years of its work, the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN) has tackled a series of issues linked to diet and nutrition which, by their very nature, whether directly or indirectly, have a tangible effect on the wellbeing of people. First and foremost we should consider the effects that dietary choices have on the health of children and adults, whether in negative (direct cause or risk factor owing for the onset of certain serious illnesses) or positive terms (protective effect against certain illnesses). But we also need to consider the effects that lifestyles and diet can have on the environ- ment surrounding us, which are responsible for the absorption and depletion of natural resources (from the emission of greenhouse gases to soil exhaustion and the usage and pollution of water). It has also tackled aspects linked to food which, on the other hand, take a closer look at the social sphere and interpersonal relationships (conviviality, social- ising, time dedicated to preparing food and consuming meals, etc.). The considerations formulated by the Advisory Board of the BCFN, the evidence collated in the works it has published, and the most interesting points to come out of the scientific debate regarding the need for new instruments to measure the wealth and wellbeing of na- tions, first and foremost amongst which being the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi report mentioned above, resulted in the conviction that a sizeable amount of the overall wellbeing of individuals is linked to diet and lifestyles adopted, first and foremost because of the knock-on effects they have on man’s health and environmental sustainability. Hence the idea to draft a multi-dimensional indicator which measures and com- pares the level of wellbeing of people, in its many dimensions, within a selected group of Developed countries. The aim of this study is to provide a proposal that contributes to the scientific de- bate currently underway, introducing an original standpoint which we have yet to come across in other similar experiences. Indeed the innovative nature of our approach consists of gauging factors linked to diet and lifestyles of people along with the ele- ments that are usually taken into account; as said before, these have a sizeable effect on the wellbeing of people. This document outlines the first draft of work still in progress, which in the coming months will benefit from further technical and scientific contributions, as well as additions resulting from the development of proprietary survey instruments (interviews and ques- tionnaires). These results will be combined with the official institutional statistics used up until now (obtained from databases of organizations such as OECD, WHO, IMF, IEA, World Bank, etc.). In this way the objective factors for measuring wellbeing will be com- bined with more subjective elements for gauging the way people perceive well- being. The latter represents a pivotal point, as people often do not recognise themselves in public statistics, as their perception differs significantly from phenomena that are indicated in the figures. To conclude, in order to ensure the scientific credibility of the work done, we have tried to comply with two fundamental criteria: n paying particular attention to the authoritativeness of the sources, selecting exclu- sively data produced by institutions and individuals known for the quality of their data processing; n ensuring the maximum transparency in our methods and calculations, furnishing all the information necessary for clear comprehension of the work done and the results ob- tained. Our commitment to transparency will take the form of publication, in November 2010, of an official document containing all the processing details necessary for defini- tion of the index. 2. The BCFN’s approach on the theme - 15
  • Skip Brown/National Geographic Image Collection 3. The BCFN Index
  • As already mentioned, the analysis of the relevant scientific literature, the conside- 3.1 rations that arose within the Advisory Board of the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition and Methodology the assessments of The European House-Ambrosetti working group (briefly outlined in the introductory paragraphs of this document) have guided the development of a purposely created working method for the quantitative measurement of the level of acquired wellbeing within the framework of certain reference countries. The methodological process adopted made it possible to construct a multidimensional summary index for the quantitative measurement of the wellbeing of countries. This indi- cator has been named the BCFN Index. To follow is a description of the method adopted, and the main evidence gathered by ap- plying the method (following paragraphs). In order to guarantee maximum coherence and scientific quality for the methodolog- ical system of the BCFN Index, the starting point used was the work done by Stiglitz, Sen and Fitoussi. This involves analysing a wide range of variables which differ from one another (such as income, health, education, consistency of social networks and quality of the democracy, etc.) so as to assess a variety of aspects (dimensions) of wellbeing contemporarily. For the international comparison, 10 benchmark countries have been chosen: n 3 countries representing Mediterranean Europe: Italy, Spain and Greece; n 2 countries representing “Core Europe”: France and Germany; n 2 countries representing Scandinavia: Denmark and Sweden; n The United Kingdom; n The United States; n Japan. The identified perimeter of analysis does not include any of the so-called “emerging countries” (Brazil, India, Russia, China, etc.) as it was felt that the differences in the social and economic development stage would render the construction of an index to measure wellbeing conceived in this manner and the formulation of relevant policy indications somewhat insignificant. The calculation of the BCFN index is based on 41 KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for measuring the national performance of the seven dimensions considered. These are listed as follows: n “Psycho-physical wellbeing”; n “Behavioural wellbeing”; n “Material wellbeing”; n “Environmental wellbeing”; n “Educational wellbeing”; n “Social wellbeing”; n “Political wellbeing”. Each KPI has been selected with the specific aim of measuring the performance of the territorial system in question in relation to one or more areas stipulated by the methodolog- ical system used. In some cases, as it is not possible to take precise measurements of the phenomenon to be gauged owing to a lack of available figures and/or owing to the actual nature of the phenomenon itself, specific approximations (proxies) are used to ensure the phenomenon is measured in any case. 123456 1 2 3 18 Measuring people’s wellbeing: the BCFN Index 4 5 6
  • Figure 1 – Summary of the 41 KPIs used for calculating the BCFN Index for the 10 countries considered Source: The European House-Ambrosetti, 2010 Relative weighting 1 Life expectancy 10% 2 Healthy life expectancy 30% 3 Mortality rate for circulatory diseases 15% Psycho-physical 4 Mortality rate for malignant neoplasms 15% wellbeing 5 Mortality rate for diabetes mellitus 10% 6 Mortality rate for suicides 10% 7 Consumer expenditure on anti-depressants 10% 8 Obese and overweight adult population 20% 9 Obese and overweight youth population 10% 10 Physical activity 20% Behavioural 11 Consumer expenditure on fruit and vegetables 10% wellbeing 12 Adult population smoking daily 20% 13 Alcohol consumption 5% 14 Average consumption of calories 10% 15 Eating time on average day 5% 16 Real median income 50% Material 17 Net wealth of households 30% wellbeing 18 Gross fixed capital formation 20% 19 Adjusted Net Saving 25% 20 Ecological Footprint 5% 21 Water Footprint 5% Environmental 22 Contribution of renewables to energy supply 15% wellbeing 23 CO2 emissions from fuel combustion 20% 24 PM10 country levels 15% 25 Municipal waste 15% 26 P.I.S.A. score 20% 27 Average annual number of new graduates 35% Educational 28 Foreign students enrolled in the university system 15% wellbeing 29 Unemployment rate of university graduate 10% 30 Annual number of daily newspapers published 10% 31 Fixed broadband subscribers 10% 32 At risk of poverty rate 25% 33 Inequality of income distribution 10% 34 Number of weekly hours of children care 5% Social 35 Unemployment rate 25% wellbeing 36 Unemployment rate among young people 10% 37 Old-age dependency ratio 5% 38 National Institution Index 10% 39 Interpersonal Trust Index 10% 40 The Economist Intelligence Unit’s index of democracy 75% Political wellbeing 41 Corruption Perceptions Index 25% 3. The BCFN Index - 19
  • In turn, the seven dimensions of wellbeing were aggregated into three reference clus- ters, in relation to which three sub-indices were calculated: n Lifestyle sub-index (15 KPIs): - “Psycho-physical wellbeing” (7 KPIs); - “Behavioural wellbeing” (8 KPIs); n Wealth and Sustainability sub-index (10 KPIs): - “Material wellbeing” (3 KPIs); - “Environmental wellbeing” (7 KPIs); n Social and Interpersonal sub-index (16 KPIs): - “Educational wellbeing” (6 KPIs); - “Social wellbeing” (8 KPIs); - “Political wellbeing” (2 KPIs). Figure 2 – Representation of the methodological system used: the BCFN Index and its components - Source: The European House-Ambrosetti, 2010 BCFN Index Relative weighting 20% “Psycho-physical”wellbeing 35% (health) Lifestyle 15% “Behavioural”wellbeing sub-index (diet and lifestyles) 35% “Material” wellbeing (income, investments and assets) 20% Wealth 15% and Sustainability “Environmental” wellbeing sub-index (environmental quality and sustainability) 10% “Educational” wellbeing (education and culture) 30% 10% “Social” wellbeing Social and Interpersonal (welfare, family, society and institutions) sub-index 10% “Political” wellbeing (democracy and individual freedom) The performance levels of the territorial systems regarding the various KPIs have been rendered uniform by the allocation of scores. For each KPI, the scores are given as follows: 10 points are given to the country with the best performance and 1 point to the coun- try with the worst performance of those taken into consideration. The remaining coun- tries are given a score between 1 and 10 in proportion with the absolute value of the indica- tor, according to a scale obtained using the following method: SCALE = (maximum value – minimum value) / (maximum score – minimum score) Once the scale has been determined, the score for each territorial system is calculated as follows: SCORE = [(value of the territory –minimum value) / scale] + 1 This method has made it possible to obtain uniform scores between 1 and 10 for each of the KPIs; these scores can be compared with one another. 20 Measuring people’s wellbeing: the BCFN Index
  • In addition, the attribution of a “relative weighting” for each KPI, each dimension of wellbeing and each of the three sub-indices (as shown in the previous figures) made it pos- sible to calculate the partial summary indicators regarding each of the seven wellbeing di- mensions using a simple weighted average, along with the three sub-indices considered and the final summary indicator, called the BCFN Index (this last index aggregates the partial results obtained from the three sub-indices). Where necessary, the KPIs have been placed in relation to one another using a suitable denominator, to increase their significance when carrying out the national comparison. The data regarding consumption rates, for example, are more significant (in this context) if compared and expressed in percentages of the available national income at purchasing power parity. By the same token, the data regarding obesity or the propensity of a popula- tion to do regular exercise can only be compared if expressed in percentages of the overall population, and so forth. To follow, the document outlines the results that emerged from the comparisons made of the ten countries that were taken into consideration, the seven dimensions of wellbeing, the three sub-indices (Lifestyle sub-Index, Wealth and Sustainability sub-index and Social and Interpersonal sub-index) and the BCFN Index. Owing to the need for brevity, results regarding all 41 KPIs will not be given; the results are, however, combined in the partial classifications and the end classification. The Lifestyle sub-index is the first sub-index considered for the construction of the BCFN 3.2 Index. This indicator refers to two particular dimensions of the wellbeing of individuals: Lifestyle one regards health (which has been called “Psycho-physical wellbeing”) whilst the other sub-index regards diet and lifestyles (called “Behavioural wellbeing”). Michael Melford/National Geographic Image Collection 3. The BCFN Index - 21
  • Figure 3 – The Lifestyle sub-index within the methodological system adopted, highlighting the two dimensions that form part of it – Source: The European House-Ambrosetti, 2010 BCFN Index Relative weighting 20% “Psycho-physical”wellbeing 35% (health) Lifestyle 15% “Behavioural”wellbeing sub-index (diet and lifestyles) 35% “Material” wellbeing (income, investments and assets) 20% Wealth 15% and Sustainability “Environmental” wellbeing sub-index (environmental quality and sustainability) 10% “Educational” wellbeing (education and culture) 30% 10% “Social” wellbeing Social and Interpersonal (welfare, family, society and institutions) sub-index 10% “Political” wellbeing (democracy and individual freedom) The analysis regarding the Lifestyle sub-index was based on 15 KPIs for measuring na- tional performance levels. Specifically, 7 KPIs were considered for the “Psycho-physical wellbeing” dimension, and 8 KPIs for measuring “Behavioural wellbeing”. 3.2.1 Psycho-physical wellbeing “Psycho-physical wellbeing” is the first of the two dimensions which make up the Life- style sub-index. The indicators taken into consideration and the weightings used for mea- surement are: n Life expectancy at birth (number of years) - Relative weighting: 10%; n Healthy life expectancy (HALE) at birth (number of years) - Relative weighting: 30%; n Standardised mortality rate for circulatory diseases, measured as the number of deaths for every 100 thousand inhabitants - Relative weighting: 15%; n Standardised mortality rate for malignant neoplasms, measured as the number of deaths for every 100 thousand inhabitants - Relative weighting: 15%; n Standardised mortality rate for diabetes mellitus, measured as the number of deaths for every 100 thousand inhabitants - Relative weighting: 10%; n Standardised mortality rate for suicides, measured as the number of deaths for every 100 thousand inhabitants - Relative weighting: 10%; n Consumer expenditure on anti-depressants and mood stabilisers, measured as the amount of yearly sales per capita - Relative weighting: 10%. In accordance with the methodology illustrated previously, for each of the aforemen- tioned indicators, a partial classification was created, giving each country a score from 1 (relative “worst” performance) to 10 (relative “best” performance). By giving a score to each of the countries for the 7 KPIs, based on the weighting attrib- uted, it was then possible to obtain an intermediate summary index regarding the dimen- sion of “Psycho-physical wellbeing”. 22 Measuring people’s wellbeing: the BCFN Index
  • Figure 4 – Ranking for “Psycho-physical wellbeing” – Source: The European House-Ambrosetti, 2010 Score from 1 to 10 United States 3,0 Denmark 3,6 Greece 5,3 Germany 5,3 United Kingdom 5,6 Sweden 5,7 France 6,1 Italy 6,4 Spain 6,5 Japan 8,1 3.2.2 Behavioural wellbeing Measuring the “Behavioural wellbeing” is an innovative, distinguishing aspect of the BCFN Index compared to other existing indices for measuring wellbeing. This component has been included in the model because, based on the results of the BCFN’s work, the considerations of its Advisory Board and the scientific debate on the theme of measuring wellbeing of the countries, the conviction emerged that a relevant part of the wellbeing of the individuals also depends on diet, lifestyle adopted and health. Accordingly, the term “Behavioural wellbeing” refers to the analysis of the variables that concern diet and lifestyle and which, based on the results of the most prestigious studies available in scientific literature analysed by the BCFN 7, have a sizeable effect on the overall state of wellbeing of individuals. In detail, the indicators taken into consideration and the weighting used for the measure- ment are as follows: n Obese and overweight (IMC>25kg/m2) population aged 15 or over, measured in per- centage of the adult population - Relative weighting: 20%; n Obese and overweight (IMC>25kg/m2) population aged 11-15, measured in percen- tage of the population aged 11-15 - Relative weighting: 10%; n Adults doing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily - Relative weighting: 20%; n Consumer expenditure on fruit and vegetables, measured in percentage of the available income - Relative weighting: 10%; n Percentage of adult population smoking daily, measured in percentage of the adult population - Relative weighting: 20%; n Alcohol consumption, measured as number of litres consumed by adults - Relative weighting: 5%; n Average consumption of calories per day - Relative weighting: 10%; n Eating time on average day, in minutes - Relative weighting: 5%. In our opinion, these 8 KPIs provide a good proxy regarding the adequacy of the diet, and the lifestyle adopted. As can be seen, a greater weighting has been given to KPIs concerning regular exercise, obesity and overweight and smoking, in line with the results of the most important scientific studies. 7 See for example the position paper “Food & Health” published by the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition on September 2009. 3. The BCFN Index - 23
  • Figure 5 – Ranking for “Behavioural wellbeing” – Source: The European House-Ambrosetti, 2010 Score from 1 to 10 United States 3,6 Greece 3,8 United Kingdom 5,4 Spain 5,5 Italy 5,7 Germany 5,8 France 6,4 Denmark 6,6 Japan 7,8 Sweden 7,9 3.2.3 Lifestyle sub-index summary results After having calculated the indicator for the “Psycho-physical wellbeing” and “Behav- ioural wellbeing”, the summary indicator regarding the Lifestyle sub-index was calculated. Figure 6 – Ranking of the Lifestyle sub-index – Source: The European House-Ambrosetti, 2010 Score from 1 to 10 United States 3,24 Greece 4,65 Denmark 4,88 United Kingdom 5,53 Germany 5,54 Spain 6,10 Italy 6,10 France 6,24 Sweden 6,64 Japan 7,97 As can be seen from the above chart, Japan is first place with a score of 7.97, followed by Sweden and France. Italy is 4th, together with Spain, with a score of 6.10, whilst the United States is last with a score of 3.24. The results that emerged show how the citizens of Japan, from the point of view of health, nutrition and lifestyles, rank highest amongst the countries taken into consid- eration, whilst those of the United States ranked worst, again with regard to health, nu- trition and lifestyles. All in all, the Italians are well placed in the classification, with a score almost twice as high as that of the United States, and not too far from the top positions. 24 Measuring people’s wellbeing: the BCFN Index
  • The Wealth and Sustainability sub-index is the second sub-index considered in construct- 3.3 ing the BCFN Index. This indicator refers to two particular dimensions of the wellbeing of Wealth and individuals: one regarding the sphere of wealth and financial availability (which has been Sustainability defined “Material wellbeing”) and another regarding the environmental quality, the eco- sub-index logical impact and sustainability of the development model of the countries analysed (“En- vironmental wellbeing”). Figure 7 – The Wealth and Sustainability sub-index within the methodological system adopted, highlighting the two dimensions that comprise it – Source: The European House-Ambrosetti, 2010 BCFN Index Relative weighting 20% “Psycho-physical”wellbeing 35% (health) Lifestyle 15% “Behavioural”wellbeing sub-index (diet and lifestyles) 35% “Material” wellbeing (income, investments and assets) 20% Wealth 15% and Sustainability “Environmental” wellbeing sub-index (environmental quality and sustainability) 10% “Educational” wellbeing (education and culture) 30% 10% “Social” wellbeing Social and Interpersonal (welfare, family, society and institutions) sub-index 10% “Political” wellbeing (democracy and individual freedom) The analysis regarding the Wealth and Sustainability sub-index took into consideration the performance of the analysed countries over 10 KPIs, using the figures from the last year which were made available by the statistical sources used. Respectively, 3 perfor- mance indicators were considered for the “Material wellbeing” dimension, and 7 indicators for measuring “Environmental wellbeing”. 3.3.1 Material wellbeing “Material wellbeing” is the first of the two dimensions that comprise the Wealth and Sus- tainability sub-index. The indicators taken into consideration and the weighting used in the measurement are as follows: n Real median income per capita, at purchasing power parity - Relative weighting: 50%; n Net wealth of households 8, measured in terms of the percentage of available income - Relative weighting: 30%; n Gross fixed capital formation per inhabitant, measured as the total amount of in- vestments made within the country in relation to the population - Relative weighting: 20%. In accordance with the methodology outlined previously, for each of the aforementioned indicators, a partial classification has been created, giving each country a score from 1 (relatively speaking the “worst” performance) to 10 (relatively speaking the “best” perfor- mance). 8 Also for this KPI it would have been useful to consider the median value. Unfortunately a complete set of data for all the considered countries is not available. 3. The BCFN Index - 25
  • The allocation of a score to each country, for each of the 3 KPIs analysed, and the weight- ing of the results obtained using the weightings outlined above, have enabled us to obtain an intermediate summary index regarding the dimension of the “Material wellbeing”. The ranking thus obtained is represented in the following figure. Figure 8 – Ranking for “Material wellbeing” – Source: The European House-Ambrosetti, 2010 Score from 1 to 10 Greece 1,6 Spain 3,1 Italy 5,2 United States 5,2 Germany 5,2 France 6,3 Japan 6,3 Sweden 6,3 United Kingdom 6,5 Denmark 9,1 3.3.2 Environmental wellbeing The second dimension which makes up the Wealth and Sustainability sub-index has been defined as “Environmental wellbeing”. This component has been included in order to assess the current environmental wellbeing conditions of the country, along with the environ- mental sustainability of the country’s development model. The indicators taken into consideration and the weightings used to measure “Environ- mental wellbeing” are: n Adjusted Net Saving, a sustainability indicator building on the concepts of green national accounts that measures the true rate of savings in an economy after taking into account investments in human capital, depletion of natural resources and dam- age caused by pollution - Relative weighting: 25%; n Ecological Footprint per capita, namely how much land and water area a human population requires to produce the resource it consumes and to absorb its wastes, us- ing prevailing technology; it is measured in global hectares - Relative weighting: 5%; n Water Footprint per capita, namely the total volume of water that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by the inhabitants of the nation, measured in (vir- tual) cubic metres - Relative weighting: 5%; n Contribution of renewables to energy supply, measured as a percentage of total primary energy supply - Relative weighting: 15%; n CO2 emissions from fuel combustion, measured in Kg per person - Relative weigh- ting: 20%; n PM10 country levels, measured in micrograms per cubic meter - Relative weighting: 15%; n Total amount generated of municipal waste, measured in kg per person - Relative weighting: 15%. The first four indicators refer, in particular, to the parameter of environmental sus- tainability, the next three to the current quality of the environment. 26 Measuring people’s wellbeing: the BCFN Index
  • The allocation of a score for each country and for each of the 7 KPIs analysed, and the weighting of the results obtained as outlined above made it possible to obtain an inter- mediate summary index for the dimension of “Environmental wellbeing”. The ranking obtained in this way is represented in the following figure. Figure 9 – Ranking for “Environmental wellbeing” – Source: The European House-Ambrosetti, 2010 Score from 1 to 10 United States 2,6 Greece 4,0 Spain 5,4 Italy 5,8 United Kingdom 5,8 Denmark 6,1 Germany 6,4 Japan 6,6 France 6,9 Sweden 9,4 3.3.3 Wealth and Sustainability sub-index summary results “Material wellbeing” and “Environmental wellbeing” are the dimensions that comprise the Wealth and Sustainability sub-index generated by combining the scores obtained for each country in the two dimensions taken into consideration. Figure 10 – Ranking of the Wealth and Sustainability sub-index – Source: The European House-Ambrosetti, 2010 Score from 1 to 10 Greece 2,61 United States 4,07 Spain 4,11 Italy 5,42 Germany 5,69 United Kingdom 6,19 Japan 6,44 France 6,56 Sweden 7,64 Denmark 7,78 On the chart, we see that Italy is in seventh place with a score of 5.42 points, just under Germany. 3. The BCFN Index - 27
  • The classification is topped by Denmark (7.78 points), followed by Sweden just below it. They are followed by France and Japan, while the U.K. follows at some distance. The last places in the classification are occupied by the United States (handicapped in particular by its low score in the item “Environmental wellbeing”) and Greece (which records a low score in “Material wellbeing”). The Social and Interpersonal sub-index is the third sub-index considered for the construc- 3.4 tion of the BCFN Index. This indicator is made up of three dimensions of individual well- Social and being: one regards education and culture (named “Educational wellbeing”), one regards Interpersonal welfare, family, society and institutions (named “Social wellbeing”) and another re- sub-index gards the sphere of democracy and individual freedom (named “Political wellbeing”). Figure 11 – The Social and Interpersonal sub-index within the methodological system adopted, highlighting the three dimensions that comprise it – Source: The European House-Ambrosetti, 2010 BCFN Index Relative weighting 20% “Psycho-physical”wellbeing 35% (health) Lifestyle 15% “Behavioural”wellbeing sub-index (diet and lifestyles) 35% Wealth “Material” wellbeing (income, investments and assets) 20% 15% and Sustainability “Environmental” wellbeing sub-index (environmental quality and sustainability) 10% “Educational” wellbeing (education and culture) 30% 10% “Social” wellbeing Social (welfare, family, society and institutions) and Interpersonal sub-index 10% “Political” wellbeing (democracy and individual freedom) The analysis regarding the Social and Interpersonal sub-index is based on 16 KPIs. In par- ticular, respectively 6 KPIs were considered for the dimension of “Educational wellbeing”, 8 KPIs for measuring “Social wellbeing” and 2 KPIs for measuring “Political wellbeing”. 3.4.1 Educational wellbeing “Educational wellbeing” is one of the three dimensions that comprise the Social and Inter- personal sub-index. The 6 KPIs taken into consideration and the weightings used for measuring are: n P.I.S.A.9 (Programme for International Student Assessment) score, measured as the num- ber of students evaluated in proficiency level 4, 5 or 6 - Relative weighting: 20%; n Average annual number of new graduates (10 year average), for every 100 thou- sand inhabitants - Relative weighting: 35%; n Foreign students enrolled in the national university system, for every 100 thousand inhabitants - Relative weighting: 15%; 9 The Programme for International Student Assessment – PISA – is an international survey promoted by OCSE to ascer- tain the skills of young people who have attended school. The PISA project saw the participation of 57 countries, including all 30 OCSE member countries and 27 partner countries. Each cycle of the survey particularly focused on one area: in the first cycle (PISA 2000) it focused on reading, the second (PISA 2003) involved mathematics. In PISA 2006 the main survey area was the sciences. The assessments given to the students assessed by the PISA range from 1 to 6, where 6 represents the highest score that can be given, and 1 the minimum. 28 Measuring people’s wellbeing: the BCFN Index
  • n Unemployment rate of university graduates - Relative weighting: 10%; n Annual number of daily newspapers 10 published, for every 100 inhabitants - Rel- ative weighting: 10%; n Fixed broadband subscribers, for every 100 inhabitants - Relative weighting: 10%. Bob Sacha/National Geographic Image Collection The allocation of a score to each country for the 6 KPIs, based on the attributed weightings, made it possible to obtain an intermediate summary index regarding the dimension of “Educational wellbeing”. Figure 12 – Ranking for “Educational wellbeing” – Source: The European House-Ambrosetti, 2010 Score from 1 to 10 Greece 1,5 Italy 2,3 Spain 3,2 Germany 4,3 United States 5,2 Sweden 5,3 France 5,7 Japan 6,4 Denmark 7,0 United Kingdom 8,5 10 Due to the fact that reliable data were not available for all the countries included in the analysis, we were unable to include the average number of books read or sold among the KPIs for this area. 3. The BCFN Index - 29
  • 3.4.2 Social wellbeing “Social wellbeing” is another of the three dimensions that make up the Social and Inter- personal sub-index. The indicators taken into consideration and the weightings used for measuring are 11: n At risk of poverty rate 12 - Relative weighting: 25%; n Inequality of income distribution (S80/S20 income quintile share ratio) - Relative weighting: 10%; n Average number of weekly hours of children care (aged 0-12) - Relative weighting: 5%; n Unemployment rate (annual average) - Relative weighting: 25%; n Unemployment rate among young people (annual average) - Relative weighting: 10%; n Old-age dependency ratio, measured as the ratio between the total number of elder- ly persons (aged 65 and over) and the number of persons of working age (from 15 to 64) - Relative weighting: 5%; n National Institution Index 13, Relative weighting: 10%; n Interpersonal Trust Index14, Relative weighting: 10%. The allocation of a score for the 8 KPIs to each country, based on the weightings attri- buted, has made it possible to obtain an intermediate summary index regarding the dimen- sion of the “Social wellbeing”. Figure 13 – Ranking for “Social wellbeing” – Source: The European House-Ambrosetti, 2010 Score from 1 to 10 Spain 2,5 Greece 4,5 United States 4,6 Italy 4,7 United Kingdom 5,3 Japan 5,7 France 5,9 Germany 6,4 Sweden 7,1 Denmark 8,8 3.4.3 Political wellbeing The “Political wellbeing” is also part of the three dimensions that make up the Social and Interpersonal sub-index. 11 At the time of publishing this document, research and analyses are still ongoing, in order to include other KPIs re- garding the “social capital” in general, or specific aspects such as social mobility, social security, the role of the family, physical safety, etc.. 12 The cut-off point is set at 60% of median equivalised income after social transfers. 13 This KPI is published by Gallup that aggregated in a composite index data from the Gallup Word Poll, measuring citi- zens’ confidence in key institutions such as the military, the judiciary and courts, and national governments, as well as confidence in the honesty of elections. 14 This KPI is published by the World Values Survey (WVS), the most commonly used cross-country survey to measure interpersonal trust. The WVS measures interpersonal trust relying on the question: “Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted or that you need to be very careful in dealing with people?”. The indicator is the percentage of people who reply “most people can be trusted”. 30 Measuring people’s wellbeing: the BCFN Index
  • The indicators taken into consideration and the weightings used to measure “Political wellbeing” are as follows15: n The Economist Intelligence Unit’s index of democracy16 - Relative weighting: 75%; n Corruption Perceptions Index17 - Relative weighting: 25%. Figure 14 – Ranking for “Political wellbeing” – Source: The European House-Ambrosetti, 2010 Score from 1 to 10 Italy 1,2 Greece 1,5 France 2,6 United Kingdom 3,2 United States 3,4 Japan 3,6 Spain 3,6 Germany 5,7 Denmark 8,7 Sweden 10,0 Figure 15 – Ranking of the Social and Interpersonal sub-index – Source: The European House-Ambrosetti, 2010 Score from 1 to 10 Greece 2,51 Italy 2,73 Spain 3,11 United States 4,39 France 4,73 Japan 5,22 Germany 5,46 United Kingdom 5,68 Sweden 7,43 Denmark 8,16 15 A third indicator selected, the Freedom in the World index published by Freedom House every year since 1972, which assesses the level of civil liberty and political rights enjoyed, was excluded from this analysis as, being concerned with 193 countries in the world, it includes third world and developing countries, where the level of civil liberties and political rights is much lower than in the western countries. For this reason, the 10 countries included in our study, though they show differences in terms of “Political wellbeing”, all have about the same score in the Freedom in the World index. 16 The Economist Intelligence Unit Index of Democracy is a summary index that measures the state of democracy in 167 countries worldwide each year. It is made up of five elements: the electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the function of the government, political participation and cultural participation. 17 Since 1995, Transparency International has published an annual Corruption Perceptions Index ordering the countries of the world according to “the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians”. The organization defines corruption as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain”. 3. The BCFN Index - 31
  • 3.4.4 Social and Interpersonal sub-index summary results After having calculated the indicator for “Educational wellbeing”, “Social wellbeing” and “Politi- cal wellbeing”, the summary indicator for the Social and Interpersonal sub-index was calculated. As we can see from the chart, Denmark is once again in first place with a score of 8.16, followed by the other Scandinavian country, Sweden, with 7.43. The U.K., Germany and Japan follow at some distance, with scores between 5.2 and 5.7. They are followed by France and the United States with scores above 4 and, even more detached, Spain, Italy and Greece in last place. The evidence that emerged shows that people from Scandinavian countries, from the point of view of education and with regard to welfare, family and society and the sphere of democracy and individual freedom, rank highest amongst the countries con- sidered, whilst those from Greece, Italy and Spain from this point of view are the worst off. As already mentioned beforehand, the BCFN Index is an instrument for comparative analy- 3.5 ses which has been perfected for carrying out comparisons on an international basis regard- The BCFN Index: ing the level of wellbeing (in a wider sense) that the inhabitants of each country “enjoy”. main results As already stated, the seven dimensions of wellbeing considered and the three sub-indi- ces presented in the previous paragraphs represent the basis upon which the BCFN Index was constructed. By combining the scores calculated for the 10 countries in the three sub- indices, with a simple average weighting as shown in Figure 2, the BCFN Index is obtained, as represented in the following figure. Figure 16 – Ranking of the BCFN Index – Source: The European House-Ambrosetti, 2010 Score from 1 to 10 Greece 3,29 United States 3,88 Spain 4,51 Italy 4,85 Germany 5,57 United Kingdom 5,81 France 5,90 Japan 6,61 Denmark 6,88 Sweden 7,23 The classification of the BCFN Index, which totals the final results for the 10 countries selected in relation to seven types of “wellbeing”, is led by Sweden, with 7.23 points, fol- lowed at a short distance by the other Scandinavian country, Denmark, with 6.88 points. Japan is in third place with 6.61 points. It is followed by a trio of countries with a similar final score, consisting of France (5.90 points, the U.K. (5.81 points) and Germany (5.57 points). Italy is in seventh place with 4.85 points, some distance from Germany but ahead of Spain, which is eighth with 4.51 points. Surprisingly, the United States occupy the next to last place in the classification with just 3.88 points, only better than Greece (in last place with 3.29 points). This result is ex- plained by the fact that they are greatly handicapped in comparison with the other coun- tries when we consider factors such as environmental sustainability, health and lifestyles, which have a very important role in the BCFN Index. What seems significant to us in this type of analysis is not so much the identification of the 32 Measuring people’s wellbeing: the BCFN Index
  • relative position of each country, however, which also has to do with the historical, social and economic factors peculiar to every nation, but rather the existence of a situation of greater or lesser balance among the different types of wellbeing identified and analyzed, and the possibility, therefore, to identify specific areas for improvement within each type, in order to increase the overall wellbeing of the people. 3.5.1 Sensitivity analysis on the BCFN Index In line with the methodology adopted, to calculate the BCFN Index and the three sub-indices considered, “relative weightings” have been allocated to the 7 dimensions of wellbeing analysed. The allocation of weighting coefficients linked to each dimension being mea- sured was made based on the considerations of the The European House-Ambrosetti work- ing group, overseen by the Advisory Board of the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition in the course of 2009-10. Nonetheless, in spite of the scientific approach adopted, it is necessary to note that there is a slightly “arbitrary” aspect, which is also inevitable, in the allocation of relative weightings 18. In order to verify the “solidity” of the set of indicators selected and the methodological sys- tem used where a change in weightings linked to each selected dimension was involved, a sensitivity analysis was carried out. This assumed equal weightings for all the seven dimensions considered to assess the changes in the end result if all the wellbeing dimen- sions examined were given the same weighting coefficient. The results of this sensitivity analysis are shown in the figure that follows. Figure 17 – Results of the sensitivity analysis carried out on the BCFN Index, hypothesising equal weightings for all seven wellbeing dimensions considered – Source: The European House-Ambrosetti, 2010 Hypothesis WG TEH-A and AB BCFN 2009-10 Score from 1 to 10 3,29 3,88 4,51 4,85 5,57 5,81 5,90 6,61 6,88 7,23 Greece United States Spain Italy Germany United Kingdom France Japan Denmark Sweden Score from 1 to 10 Hypothesis Equal weightings 3,17 3,93 4,27 4,46 5,59 5,71 5,76 6,35 7,11 7,37 Greece United States Spain Italy Germany France United Kingdom Japan Denmark Sweden It is easy to deduce by observing the previous figure that the results clearly demon- strate the “solidity” of the methodological system adopted with regard to a change in the weightings. In fact the final ranking does not present relevant changes hypothesis- ing equal weightings for each dimension of the wellbeing. In particular, scores obtained by countries registered slight variations and it can be noted that just one change in the middle of the ranking occurred (involving France and the U.K.). 18 Potentially resolvable (at least in part) with a specific survey to be carried out on a sample that is representative of the population in the countries considered, which would be asked directly to indicate the relevance of each dimen- sion of wellbeing over the overall individual wellbeing. 3. The BCFN Index - 33
  • Mark Thiessen/National Geographic Image Collection 4. Conclusions and next steps
  • The process of defining an index for measuring collective wellbeing that is capable of 4. guiding economic and overall government decisions towards a state of greater widespread Conclusions “happiness” is extremely complex. Whilst there is now a widely-held belief that the indica- and next steps tors of an exclusively material nature (above all the GDP) are unsuitable for offering “all- round” measurement of a country’s situation or that of a given area, for the purposes of formulating the best government decisions, the difficulties involved in devising it are such that to date it has not yet proven possible to find a satisfactory solution to the various me- thodological needs which underpin its construction. Yet the need to guide the policies of the world’s countries and macro-regions towards sustainability in all its guises is now more urgent than ever. But to do so, indicators that are able to capture the truly relevant information to measure phenomena in a multi-di- mensional key are required. Awareness of the fact that this historic move towards more modern guiding and institutional government processes worldwide can no longer be put off marks the starting point of our work. In presenting this document, we wish to announce the fact that we are embarking on a process that aims to contribute towards reaching this ambitious goal, in line with our very own particular perspective which starts first and foremost by studying and understanding dietary issues. Along the way, this process will involve professionalism, skills, intelligence and a willingness to take part of those that feel they can provide a constructive contribu- tion. In particular, we intend to underscore the relevance of issues linked to diet in terms of impact on social wellbeing, health and the environment. To sum up, we wish to announce our own call to action as launched by the French Gover- nment when it established the “Sen, Stiglitz, Fitoussi” Commission, thereby not only con- tributing to increasing awareness of the need to tackle wellbeing issues from a new angle, but also providing a possible operative solution to the many problems that need addressing. The form we need to give to our work is that of the open “platform”, which will combine the work to analyse and examine the technical tables formed by experts and members of the Institutions with the willingness to take the suggestions of anyone interested in get- ting involved with the work on board. We realise that it will be a long and difficult undertaking, but we are convinced that the road towards a fairer world also involves having instruments for understanding situations that are better suited to recording phenomena. Instruments that come closer to the situa- tions we all encounter in our daily lives. 36 Measuring people’s wellbeing: the BCFN Index
  • Contact Details Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Via Mantova, 166 43122 Parma ITALY info@barillacfn.com www.barillacfn.com Scentific partner Photos by