Beyond GDP as a measure of welfare: introducing the health-adjusted income metric

Angela Y Chang*, Dean T Jamison

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference abstract in journalResearchpeer-review

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BackgroundGross domestic product (GDP) is often used as a proxy for quality of life. Yet, material gain is only one of the many aspects of life that enhance the wellbeing of a population. One of the most important aspects of welfare is the value of human lifespan. A full-income approach can capture both monetary income and the value of changes in mortality. However, existing literature estimating full-income has two shortcomings: first, the concepts of levels of life expectancy with changes in life expectancy are often conflated, assigning monetary values estimated for changes to levels instead; second, existing approaches apply only to high-income countries and cannot be expanded to low-income countries. Here, we present our framework for a health-adjusted income that captures both the GDP and the monetary values of health and longevity of populations
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Lancet Global Health
Issue numberSpecial issue
Pages (from-to)S26
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1. Apr 2020


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