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Viewpoint: Measuring and understanding subjective well-being

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  • John F. Helliwell
  • Christopher P. Barrington-Leigh

Abstract

Increasing attention is being paid in academic, policy, and public arenas to subjective measures of well-being. This promising trend represents a shift towards measuring positive outcomes in psychology and greater realism in the study of economic behaviour. We describe the main measures of subjective well-being (SWB) and provide examples of policy-relevant research findings, including new accountings of the differences in individual-level SWB assessments around the world and across Canada. These suggest a consistent pattern of life circumstances linked to SWB and highlight the importance of social factors whose role has otherwise been hard to quantify in income-equivalent terms.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 43 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 729-753

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:43:y:2010:i:3:p:729-753

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Cited by:
  1. John Helliwell & Shun Wang, 2014. "Weekends and Subjective Well-Being," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 116(2), pages 389-407, April.
  2. Barbara Dluhosch & Daniel Horgos, 2013. "Trading Up the Happiness Ladder," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 113(3), pages 973-990, September.
  3. Cojocaru, Alexandru & Diagne, Mame Fatou, 2013. "How reliable and consistent are subjective measures of welfare in Europe and Central Asia ? evidence from the second life in transition survey," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6359, The World Bank.
  4. repec:wyi:journl:002134 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. SARRACINO Francesco, 2010. "Determinants of Subjective Well-Being in High and Low Income Countries: do happiness equations differ across countries?," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2010-15, CEPS/INSTEAD.
  6. Hau Chyi & Shangyi Mao, 2012. "The Determinants of Happiness of China’s Elderly Population," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 167-185, March.
  7. Christian Kroll, 2011. "Wie wollen wir zukünftig leben? Internationale Erfahrungen bei der Neuvermessung von Fortschritt und Wohlergehen," Working Paper Series of the German Council for Social and Economic Data 186, German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD).
  8. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2012. "Recent Developments in the Economics of Happiness: A Selective Overview," IZA Discussion Papers 7078, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Jon Hall & Christopher Barrington-Leigh & John Helliwell, 2010. "Cutting through the Clutter: Searching for an Over-Arching Measure of Well-Being," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 8(4), pages 8-12, 01.
  10. Martina Menon & Ravi Pendakur & Federico Perali, 2014. "All in the Family: How Do Social Capital and Material Wellbeing Affect Relational Wellbeing?," Working Papers 03/2014, University of Verona, Department of Economics.

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