Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Basic Needs and Wealth as Independent Determinants of Happiness: An Illustration from Thailand

Contents:

Author Info

  • Monica Guillen-Royo
  • Jackeline Velazco

    ()

  • Laura Camfield

Abstract

Thailand has been a global economic success story, transforming from one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia in the 1960s, to a modern and dynamic nation, and all within the lifetime of the current generation. However, growth has been accompanied by marked increases in economic inequality both at the regional and individual levels. In this context studying how relatively poor people appraise their situation (‘subjective wellbeing’) and how this relates to traditional ‘objective’ measures of wellbeing such as wealth and basic needs is particularly relevant. This paper investigates the relationship between basic needs as defined by the Theory of Human needs (THN, Doyal and Gough 1991 ), material wealth and happiness. Specifically, we intend to answer the following research question: Are wealth and basic needs indicators always interchangeable when analyzing happiness determinants in low income settings? The paper focuses on seven communities in the South and North-east of Thailand with contrasting levels of access to markets and services. It challenges the common assumption that at low economic levels, wealth or income matter for people’s happiness because they increase satisfaction of basic needs, arguing instead that wealth might contribute to happiness for personal or symbolic reasons, which are not related to the use of goods as basic needs satisfiers. Thus, it suggests that indicators of wealth and basic needs should not be used interchangeably when studying happiness determinants in low income settings. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11205-011-9941-3
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Indicators Research.

Volume (Year): 110 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (January)
Pages: 517-536

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:110:y:2013:i:2:p:517-536

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/11135

Order Information:
Web: http://link.springer.de/orders.htm

Related research

Keywords: Thailand; Wellbeing; Happiness; Basic needs; Material wealth; Developing countries;

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Geeta Kingdon & John Knight, 2004. "Community, Comparisons and Subjective Well-being in a Divided Society," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2004-21, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Carol Graham & Andrew Felton, 2006. "Inequality and happiness: Insights from Latin America," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 107-122, April.
  3. David E. Sahn & David Stifel, 2003. "Exploring Alternative Measures of Welfare in the Absence of Expenditure Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 49(4), pages 463-489, December.
  4. Des Gasper, 2005. "Subjective and Objective Well-Being in Relation to Economic Inputs: Puzzles and Responses," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 63(2), pages 177-206.
  5. Michael Eid & Ed Diener, 2004. "Global Judgments of Subjective Well-Being: Situational Variability and Long-Term Stability," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 65(3), pages 245-277, February.
  6. Ed Diener & Robert Biswas-Diener, 2002. "Will Money Increase Subjective Well-Being?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 57(2), pages 119-169, February.
  7. Ed Diener & Richard Lucas, 2000. "Explaining Differences in Societal Levels of Happiness: Relative Standards, Need Fulfillment, Culture, and Evaluation Theory," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 41-78, March.
  8. Rojas, Mariano, 2004. "Well-being and the Complexity of Poverty: A Subjective Well-being Approach," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  9. Robert Cummins, 2003. "Normative Life Satisfaction: Measurement Issues and a Homeostatic Model," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 64(2), pages 225-256, November.
  10. J. Allister McGregor & Andrew McKay & Jackeline Velazco, 2007. "Needs and resources in the investigation of well-being in developing countries: illustrative evidence from Bangladesh and Peru," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 107-131.
  11. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  12. Robert Biswas-Diener & Ed Diener, 2001. "Making the Best of a Bad Situation: Satisfaction in the Slums of Calcutta," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 55(3), pages 329-352, September.
  13. Desai, Meghnad & Shah, Anup, 1988. "An Econometric Approach to the Measurement of Poverty," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(3), pages 505-22, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:110:y:2013:i:2:p:517-536. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.