Gross national happiness and sustainable economic development in Bhutan: A qualitative analysis


Anil Kumar Dogra



Indian Journal of Economics and Development
Year : 2013, Volume : 9, Issue : 2
First page : ( 174) Last page : ( 183)
Print ISSN : 2277-5412.

Gross national happiness and sustainable economic dvelopment in Bhutan: A qualitative analysis

Dogra Anil Kumar
Associate Professor (Colombo Plan), Sherubtse College, Royal University of Bhutan. Kanglung, Trashigang, Bhutan. Email:

JEL Classification: A13, O44, O47, Q01, Q26

Online published on 1 August, 2013.

The objectives of Gross National Happiness (GNH) reflected in the shape of its pillar could be accomplished if the latent resources would be explored and exploited through the development of blighted agricultural and embryonic industrial sector with their optimal use. Bhutan’s story of progress highlights the importance of cultural, spiritual heritage and natural environment in its approach for development. Under the dynamic leadership, and by learning from other countries’ mistakes in natural resource management, Bhutan is progressing to achieve a sustainable development that relies on its natural resources which are considered as significant assets for the common good. Bhutan’s unique development path has ignored the theories of development, from classical to neo-liberal schools, that economic progress of the country can be realized without compromising the importance of sanctimonious environment. Bhutan intends to impart an important lesson to the international community how it has been able to achieve persistent economic growth, still maintaining its rich natural heritage and pristine environment.