Get access

Economic Welfare Comparisons: Australia, the United States and the European Union


Marc Lombard, Department of Economics, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia. Email:


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.

Get access to the full text of this article