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Well-being and inequality

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  • Böhnke, Petra
  • Kohler, Ulrich

Abstract

An objective and a subjective approach to study well-being is introduced. The objective approach is particularly useful to compare the quality of life of given societies across time and space. Using the objective approach, we can identify strong differences of quality of life between European countries. In comparison to Western Europe, East European countries tend to have a rather low quality of life. Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Belgium form a cluster of countries with high quality of life. The subjective approach to study well-being is useful for investigating the importance of dimensions of social inequality for people themselves. It is shown that most of the inequality dimensions traditionally analysed by social scientists affect people’s subjective well-being. However, it is also shown that some of the more materialistic inequality dimensions (such as income) tend to be less important in rich societies, while certain non-materialistic dimensions (such as family) are getting more important. The subjective approach to study well-being is also used to investigate the importance of characteristics of societies for people’s well-being. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Inequality and Social Integration with number SP I 2008-201.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbisi:spi2008201

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jan Delhey, 2010. "From Materialist to Post-Materialist Happiness? National Affluence and Determinants of Life Satisfaction in Cross-National Perspective," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 97(1), pages 65-84, May.
  2. Johannes Vatter, 2012. "Well-Being in Germany: GDP and Unemployment Still Matter," Working Paper Series of the German Council for Social and Economic Data, German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD) 196, German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD).
  3. Piper, Alan T., 2013. "Europe’s capital cities and the happiness penalty: an investigation using the European Social Survey," MPRA Paper 47793, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Johannes Vatter, 2012. "Well-Being in Germany: What Explains the Regional Variation?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 435, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  5. Rackow, Katja & Schupp, Jürgen & Scheve, Christian von, 2012. "Angst und Ärger: Zur Relevanz emotionaler Dimensionen sozialer Ungleichheit," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 392-409.
  6. Vatter, Johannes, 2012. "Well-being in Germany: What explains the regional variation?," FZG Discussion Papers 50, Research Center for Generational Contracts (FZG), University of Freiburg.
  7. Jonathan Bradshaw & Bruno Martorano & Chris De Neubourg & Luisa Natali & UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, 2013. "Children’s Subjective Well-being in Rich Countries," Innocenti Working Papers inwopa686, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.

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