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Multidimensional Well-being and Regional Disparities in Europe


  • Jörg Döpke
  • Andreas Knabe
  • Cornelia Lang
  • Philip Maschke


Using data from the OECD Regional Well-Being Index - a set of quality-of-life indicators measured at the sub-national level, we construct a set of composite well-being indices. We analyse the extent to which the choice of five alternative aggregation methods affects the well-being ranking of regions. We find that regional inequality in these composite measures is lower than regional inequality in gross-domestic product (GDP) per capita. For most aggregation methods, the rank correlation across regions appears to be quite high. It is also shown that using alternative indicators instead of GDP per capita would only have a small effect on the set of regions eligible for aid from EU Structural Funds. The exception appears to be an aggregation based on how individual dimensions of welfare relate to average life satisfaction across regions, which would substantially change both the ranking of regions and which regions would receive EU funds.
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  • Jörg Döpke & Andreas Knabe & Cornelia Lang & Philip Maschke, 2017. "Multidimensional Well-being and Regional Disparities in Europe," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(5), pages 1026-1044, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jcmkts:v:55:y:2017:i:5:p:1026-1044

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    2. Alexandru Pavel & Bogdan Andrei Moldovan & Karima Kourtit & Peter Nijkamp, 2020. "Urban or Rural: Does It Make A Difference for Economic Resilience? A Modelling Study on Economic and Cultural Geography in Romania," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(9), pages 1-39, May.
    3. Jesús Peiró-Palomino & Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo & Vicente Rios, 2020. "Social Progress Around the World: Measurement, Evolution and Convergence," Working Papers 2006, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
    4. Daniele Archibugi & Rinaldo Evangelista & Antonio Vezzani, 2021. "Centripetal and centrifugal forces in technological activities: linking regional innovation performances to EU Science & Technology policies," Working Papers 47, Birkbeck Centre for Innovation Management Research, revised Jan 2021.
    5. Peiró-Palomino, Jesús & Picazo-Tadeo, Andrés J. & Tortosa-Ausina, Emili, 2021. "Measuring well-being in Colombian departments. The role of geography and demography," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    6. Pietrovito, Filomena & Pozzolo, Alberto Franco & Resce, Giuliano & Scialà , Antonio, 2022. "Fiscal decentralization and income (re)distribution in OECD countries' regions," Economics & Statistics Discussion Papers esdp22086, University of Molise, Department of Economics.
    7. Bonasia, Mariangela & Napolitano, Oreste & Spagnolo, Fabio & Spagnolo, Nicola, 2022. "The economic and welfare state determinants of well-being in Europe," International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 49-57.
    8. Jesús Peiró-Palomino & Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo & Emili Tortosa-Ausina, 2020. "The Geography of Well-being in Colombia," Working Papers 2020/03, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General


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