This paper examines the origins and use of the concept of Gross National Happiness (or subjective well-being) in the Kingdom of Bhutan, and the relationship between measured well-being and macroeconomic indicators. While there are only a few national surveys of Gross National Happiness in Bhutan, the concept has been used to guide public policymaking for the country’s various Five-Year Plans. Consistent with the Easterlin Paradox, available evidence indicates that Bhutan’s rapid increase in national income is only weakly associated with increases in measured levels of well-being. It will be important for Bhutan to undertake more frequent Gross National Happiness surveys and evaluations, to better build evidence for comovement of well-being and macroeconomic concepts such as real national income.
assessing projects through the lens of the GNHtool (the four pillars of GNH being an integral part of the tool) and ensures that there is a seamless inclusion of GNH at almost all levels of governmental functioning within Bhutan 5 . GNH is incorporated within the country’s Five Year Plans (FYP), and the planning processes extend all the way to the small local levels in the respective dzonkhags (administrative and judicial districts) and gewogs (residential blocks). Since the Tenth FYP, there has been a results-based approach framework which has been adopted where