Comparison of countries’ standard of living are often based on gross domestic product per capita, whether at market exchange rates or at purchasing power parity, and/or the United Nations’ Human Development Index. Yet, these statistical instruments do not provide an accurate picture of economic welfare comparisons. They ignore a number of essential factors determining economic welfare, such as income distribution, poverty levels, work–time ratio, and welfare provisions, among others. This paper examines these factors and others, to make some pertinent economic welfare comparisons between Australia, the United States, and the European Union and its leading economies.
- economic welfare comparisons
- European Union
- United States
- gross domestic product per capita
- welfare provisions
- income distribution and poverty levels
- working hours