THE APPLICATION OF MULTIPLE CRITERIA ASSESSMENT OF PRODUCTION SECTORS ON INCREASING QUALITY OF LIFE

Renata SLABE ERKER, Vlado LAVRAČ

Abstract


The pitfalls of distorted consumption patterns are increasinglyclear in modern society. They are seen in the vicious circle ofrushed work, earning and spending, which does not generallyprovide people with greater life satisfaction. As much researchhas indicated, a 'happiness paradox' occurs. In developed countries, at least, people are not becoming happier, although their material wealth or living standard has continually increased over time. This indicates that other non-material elements of well-being are at least as important as material elements for satisfaction with life. This suggests that a paradigm for social development must be directed away from increasing one-sided economic development at any cost towards sustainable development, if not to maximising the overall happiness in a society. This paper brings an innovative attempt to provide some guidance as to the question which changes in the production structure, beside changes in consumption pattern, could contribute more to higherquality of life. It uses an established method – multi-criteriadecision analysis (MCDA) – to combine academic theoretical and empirical work on happiness with the policy goal of increasing quality of life and promoting sustainable development. The use of multiple criteria assessment ranks production sectors on the basis of their contribution to the individual and overall quality of life criteria. The paper addresses the case of Slovenia, though the method is equally applicable in principle to other countries.

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096