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Can Governments Boost People’s Sense of Well-Being? The Impact of Selected Labour Market and Health Policies on Life Satisfaction

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Author Info

  • Romina Boarini

    ()

  • Margherita Comola

    ()

  • Femke Keulenaer

    ()

  • Robert Manchin

    ()

  • Conal Smith

    ()

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    Abstract

    There is strong evidence that subjective well-being measures capture in a reliable way specific components of well-being that other non-subjective measures miss. The question of whether subjective well-being is policy amenable is however still largely unexplored in the research. This paper sheds some light on this issue, by looking at the impact of selected labour market and health policies on subjective well-being, using well-being data from the Gallup World Poll on the 34 OECD countries. The paper finds that the generosity of unemployment benefits and the strictness employment protection legislation affects positively life satisfaction, while out-of-pocket health expenses significantly reduce subjective well-being. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Indicators Research.

    Volume (Year): 114 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 (October)
    Pages: 105-120

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:114:y:2013:i:1:p:105-120

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    Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/11135

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    Related research

    Keywords: Happiness; Life satisfaction; Labour market policy; Health policy; Subjective well-being;

    References

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    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.:
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    1. Romina Boarini & Margherita Comola & Conal Smith & Robert Manchin & Femke de Keulenaer, 2012. "What Makes for a Better Life?: The Determinants of Subjective Well-Being in OECD Countries – Evidence from the Gallup World Poll," OECD Statistics Working Papers 2012/3, OECD Publishing.
    2. John F. Helliwell, 2008. "Life Satisfaction and Quality of Development," NBER Working Papers 14507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2004. "Happiness Research: State and Prospects," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-10, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    4. Xu, Ke & Ravndal, Frode & Evans, David B. & Carrin, Guy, 2009. "Assessing the reliability of household expenditure data: Results of the World Health Survey," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 297-305, August.
    5. DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 1999. "The macroeconomics of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-1999, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
    6. Susanne Rässler & Regina Riphahn, 2006. "Survey item nonresponse and its treatment," AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis, Springer, vol. 90(1), pages 217-232, March.
    7. Michael Eid & Ed Diener, 2004. "Global Judgments of Subjective Well-Being: Situational Variability and Long-Term Stability," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 65(3), pages 245-277, February.
    8. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
    9. Krueger, Alan B. & Schkade, David A., 2008. "The reliability of subjective well-being measures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1833-1845, August.
    10. Ed Diener & Christie Napa-Scollon & Shigehiro Oishi & Vivian Dzokoto & Eunkook Suh, 2000. "Positivity and the Construction of Life Satisfaction Judgments: Global Happiness is not the Sum of its Parts," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 159-176, June.
    11. Ochsen, Carsten & Welsch, Heinz, 2012. "Who benefits from labor market institutions? Evidence from surveys of life satisfaction," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 112-124.
    12. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
    13. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," IEW - Working Papers 015, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    14. Dolan, Paul & Peasgood, Tessa & White, Mathew, 2008. "Do we really know what makes us happy A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 94-122, February.
    15. Sarah Fleche & Conal Smith & Piritta Sorsa, 2012. "Exploring Determinants of Subjective Wellbeing in OECD Countries: Evidence from the World Value Survey," OECD Statistics Working Papers 2012/1, OECD Publishing.
    16. Paul Dolan & Robert Metcalfe, 2008. "Comparing Willingness-to-Pay and Subjective Well-Being in the Context of Non-Market Goods," CEP Discussion Papers dp0890, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    17. Nicole Lawless & Richard Lucas, 2011. "Predictors of Regional Well-Being: A County Level Analysis," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 101(3), pages 341-357, May.
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