[...] I was interested in the bit about the work of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbuam. Can anyone address the issue of why Sam did not mention them? Their work does seem to be on topic regarding the assessment of well-being.
More that on topic, it seems to be the best and greatest effort ever invested that could provide firm foundations to the concept of collective well-being - several decades of work deserving a Nobel Prize. But unfortunately it is full of negative results (impossibility theorems). Prof. Sen’s Nobel Prize lecture “The Possibility of Social Choice” gives a glimpse of his lifelong efforts in this regard: