IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Knowing what is good for you: Empirical analysis of personal preferences and the "objective good"

  • Lelkes, Orsolya

The paper argues that there is a cherishable overlap between “objective good” and people’s preferences in measures of well-being. Firstly, using recent survey data from twenty European countries I analyse the determinants of individual’s “experienced utility”. The proxy for utility is overall life satisfaction. The results indicate that various measures of well-being which are normally used for assessing people’s quality of life do indeed significantly influence people’s utility. The estimated micro-econometric life satisfaction equations suggest that an individual’s labour market situation, housing conditions and social relations significantly contribute to his overall life satisfaction, over and above the level of his income. The findings also imply that the use of non-income measures in standard analyses of well-being is justified on the grounds that these measures do have intrinsic value for the people over and above their incomes. In the second part of the paper, the stability of the relationship is tested using survey data from Hungary from the 1990s. The results show that there was only very limited change in this relationship despite the landslide of societal and economic transformation. Entrepreneurs have become more satisfied, but there is no change in the relationship of income and life satisfaction, ceteris paribus. Overall, thus the relationship between basic measures of objective well-being and people’s preferences seems to be stable.

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

If 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.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6W5H-4J4405J-1/2/c11585c046dd297c914cc4f93cafd482
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 35 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 285-307

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:35:y:2006:i:2:p:285-307
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Preferences over inflation and unemployment: Evidence from surveys of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-2001, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
  2. Andrew E. Clark & Ed Diener & Yannis Georgellis & Richard E. Lucas, 2008. "Lags and leads in life satisfaction: A test of the baseline hypothesis," Post-Print halshs-00754279, HAL.
  3. John C. Harsanyi, 1996. "Utilities, preferences, and substantive goods," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 14(1), pages 129-145.
  4. Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Psychology and Economics," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8jd5z5j2, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  5. Flemming, J.S. & Micklewright, John, 2000. "Income distribution, economic systems and transition," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 843-918 Elsevier.
  6. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," IEW - Working Papers 080, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  8. Hayo, Bernd & Seifert, Wolfgang, 2003. "Subjective economic well-being in Eastern Europe," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 329-348, June.
  9. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada, 2005. "Income and well-being: an empirical analysis of the comparison income effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 997-1019, June.
  10. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
  11. Ceema Zahra Namazie & Peter Sanfey, 1998. "Happiness in Transition: The Case of Kyrgyzstan," STICERD - Distributional Analysis Research Programme Papers 40, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  12. Andrew E. Clark, 2003. "Unemployment as a Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 289-322, April.
  13. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2000. "Who wants to redistribute?: The tunnel effect in 1990s Russia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 87-104, April.
  14. Kitty Stewart, 2002. "Measuring Well-Being and Exclusion in Europes Regions," CASE Papers case53, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  15. Lelkes, Orsolya, 2006. "Tasting freedom: Happiness, religion and economic transition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 173-194, February.
  16. C. Graham & S. Pettinato, 2002. "Frustrated Achievers: Winners, Losers and Subjective Well-Being in New Market Economies," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(4), pages 100-140.
  17. Kornai, Janos, 1992. "The Socialist System: The Political Economy of Communism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198287766, December.
  18. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
  19. Bernard M.S. van Praag & Paul Frijters, 1999. "The measurement of welfare and well-being; the Leyden approach," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 071a, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
  20. Kornai Janos, 1994. "Transformational Recession: The Main Causes," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 39-63, August.
  21. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
  22. Atkinson, Tony & Cantillon, Bea & Marlier, Eric & Nolan, Brian, 2002. "Social Indicators: The EU and Social Inclusion," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199253494, December.
  23. Bernd Hayo, 2004. "Happiness in Eastern Europe," Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200412, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  24. Nussbaum, Martha C., 2001. "Symposium on Amartya Sen's philosophy: 5 Adaptive preferences and women's options," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(01), pages 67-88, April.
  25. Tito Boeri, 1994. ""Transitional" unemployment," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 2(1), pages 1-25, 03.
  26. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  27. David G. Blanchflower & Richard B. Freeman, 1997. "The Attitudinal Legacy of Communist Labor Relations," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(3), pages 438-459, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:35:y:2006:i:2:p:285-307. See general 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: (Shamier, Wendy)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.