There is thus a strong methodological case for emphasizing the need to assign explicitly evaluative weights to different components of quality of life (or of well-being) and then to place the chosen weights for open public discussion and critical scrutiny. In any choice of criteria for evaluative purposes, there would not only be use of value judgements, but also, quite often, use of some judgements on which full agreement would not exist. This is inescapable in a social-choice exercise of this kind. The real issue is whether we can use some criteria that would have greater public support, for evaluative purposes, than the crude indicators often recommended on allegedly technological ground, such as real-income measures. This is central for the evaluative basis of public policy.

amartya sen

Sen, A. (1999). Development as Freedom. Oxford University Press.