Happy Peasants and Frustrated Achievers? Agency, Capabilities, and Subjective Well-Being
AbstractWe explore the relationship between agency and hedonic and evaluative dimensions of well-being, using data from the Gallup World Poll. We posit that individuals emphasize one well-being dimension over the other, depending on their agency. We test four hypotheses including whether: (i) positive levels of well-being in one dimension coexist with negative ones in another; and (ii) individuals place a different value on agency depending on their positions in the well-being and income distributions. We find that: (i) agency is more important to the evaluative well-being of respondents with more means; (ii) negative levels of hedonic well-being coexist with positive levels of evaluative well-being as people acquire agency; and (iii) both income and agency are less important to well-being at highest levels of the well-being distribution. We hope to contribute insight into one of the most complex and important components of well-being, namely, people's capacity to pursue fulfilling lives.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group in its series Working Papers with number 2013-013.
Date of creation: Sep 2013
Date of revision:
agency; capabilities; subjective well-being;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
- G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
- O5 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-11-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-HAP-2013-11-02 (Economics of Happiness)
- NEP-HPE-2013-11-02 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-LTV-2013-11-02 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral 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: (Jennifer Pachon).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.