Direct measurement of living standards in New Zealand

Date of publication: May 9, 2004


The paper gives an overview of a series of linked research studies on living standards, carried out in New Zealand over the past four years. The studies were conducted by the authors, aided by other scholars. The paper is in five parts. Following an introduction, it describes the development of a new measure of material living standard (the ELSI scale); the use of the measure to report on the living standards of New Zealanders; work that is currently under way on a new study, directed towards explaining variation in living standards; and, in the final part, some applications of the measure to social policy.

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