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Measuring Well-being Across Europe: Description of the ESS Well-being Module and Preliminary Findings

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Author Info

  • Felicia Huppert

    ()

  • Nic Marks

    ()

  • Andrew Clark

    ()

  • Johannes Siegrist

    ()

  • Alois Stutzer

    ()

  • Joar Vittersø

    ()

  • Morten Wahrendorf

    ()

Abstract

It has become customary to judge the success of a society through the use of objective indicators, predominantly economic and social ones. Yet in most developed nations, increases in income, education and health have arguably not produced comparable increases in happiness or life satisfaction. While much has been learned from the introduction of subjective measures of global happiness or life satisfaction into surveys, significant recent progress in the development of high-quality subjective measures of personal and social well-being has not been fully exploited. This paper describes the development of a set of well- being indicators which were included in Round 3 of the European Social Survey. This well-being Module seeks to evaluate the success of European countries in promoting the personal and social well-being of their citizens. In addition to providing a better understanding of domain-specific measures, such as those relating to family, work and income, the design of the Well-being Module recognises that advancement in the field requires us to look beyond measures which focus on how people feel (happiness, pleasure, satisfaction) to measures which are more concerned with how well they function. This also shifts the emphasis from relatively transient states of well-being to measures of more sustainable well-being. The ESS Well-being Module represents one of the first systematic attempts to create a set of policy-relevant national well-being accounts.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11205-008-9346-0
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Indicators Research.

Volume (Year): 91 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 301-315

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Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:91:y:2009:i:3:p:301-315

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

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Related research

Keywords: Well-being; Happiness; Policy; Subjective well-being; National accounts; Cross national survey;

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References

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  1. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2007. "Is Well-Being U-Shaped over the Life Cycle?," IZA Discussion Papers 3075, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. John Helliwell, 2007. "Well-Being and Social Capital: Does Suicide Pose a Puzzle?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 81(3), pages 455-496, May.
  3. Meier, Stephan & Stutzer, Alois, 2004. "Is Volunteering Rewarding in Itself?," IZA Discussion Papers 1045, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Ed Diener, 2006. "Guidelines for National Indicators of Subjective Well-Being and Ill-Being," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 397-404, November.
  5. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  6. Anna Lau & Robert Cummins & Wenda Mcpherson, 2005. "An Investigation into the Cross-Cultural Equivalence of the Personal Wellbeing Index," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 72(3), pages 403-430, 07.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Andrew E. Clark & Claudia Senik, 2009. "Who compares to whom? The anatomy of income comparisons in Europe," Working Papers halshs-00586036, HAL.
  2. Nadir Preziosi, 2013. "Life is Getting Worse in ESS Data: Is This Due to Micro or Macro Factors?," Bruges European Economic Research Papers 28, European Economic Studies Department, College of Europe.
  3. Anke Plagnol & Felicia Huppert, 2010. "Happy to Help? Exploring the Factors Associated with Variations in Rates of Volunteering Across Europe," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 97(2), pages 157-176, June.
  4. Senik, Claudia, 2011. "The French Unhappiness Puzzle: The Cultural Dimension of Happiness," IZA Discussion Papers 6175, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Claudia Senik, 2013. "The French Unhappiness Puzzle: the Cultural Dimension of Happiness," Working Papers halshs-00628837, HAL.
  6. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2010. "Recent Advances in the Economics of Individual Subjective Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 4850, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Rosemary Abbott & George Ploubidis & Felicia Huppert & Diana Kuh & Tim Croudace, 2010. "An Evaluation of the Precision of Measurement of Ryff’s Psychological Well-Being Scales in a Population Sample," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 97(3), pages 357-373, July.
  8. Andrea Wigfield & Royce Turner, 2013. "The Development of the Good Relations Measurement Framework in Britain: A Template for Experiential Social Measurement," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 114(2), pages 655-686, November.
  9. Marc Hooghe & Bram Vanhoutte, 2011. "Subjective Well-Being and Social Capital in Belgian Communities. The Impact of Community Characteristics on Subjective Well-Being Indicators in Belgium," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 100(1), pages 17-36, January.
  10. Cretien Campen & Marc Santvoort, 2013. "Explaining Low Subjective Well-Being of Persons with Disabilities in Europe: The Impact of Disability, Personal Resources, Participation and Socio-Economic Status," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 111(3), pages 839-854, May.
  11. Jayson Lusk & F. Norwood, 2010. "Direct Versus Indirect Questioning: An Application to the Well-Being of Farm Animals," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 96(3), pages 551-565, May.
  12. Kim Cameron, 2011. "Responsible Leadership as Virtuous Leadership," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 98(1), pages 25-35, January.
  13. Victoria Ateca-Amestoy & Arantza Ugidos, 2013. "The Impact of Different Types of Resource Transfers on Individual Wellbeing: An Analysis of Quality of Life Using CASP-12," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 110(3), pages 973-991, February.
  14. Felicia Huppert & Timothy So, 2013. "Flourishing Across Europe: Application of a New Conceptual Framework for Defining Well-Being," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 110(3), pages 837-861, February.
  15. Bruno Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2012. "The use of happiness research for public policy," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 38(4), pages 659-674, April.
  16. Andrew E. Clark, 2011. "The organisational commitment of workers in OECD countries," Working Papers halshs-00565205, HAL.

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