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Measuring inequality of subjective well-being: A Bayesian approach

  • Hasegawa, Hikaru
  • Ueda, Kazuhiro
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    This article proposes a new measure for inequality of subjective well-being and shows the empirical results using a Bayesian ordered probit model. We introduce a new concept called “regret” as a measure for inequality of subjective well-being. Regret is the probability with which a respondent who chooses an option in a multiple-choice question pertaining to subjective well-being does not choose any other option indicative of better well-being. Regret is estimated in connection with demographic factors using the Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method and data of the World Values Survey. Furthermore, the relationships between regret and GDP per capita and the changes therein are shown to investigate those between inequality of subjective well-being and economic conditions.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053535711000709
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

    Volume (Year): 40 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 5 ()
    Pages: 700-708

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:40:y:2011:i:5:p:700-708
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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    1. Layard, R. & Mayraz, G. & Nickell, S., 2008. "The marginal utility of income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1846-1857, August.
    2. repec:pri:cheawb:deaton_income_health_and_wellbeing_around_the_world_evidence_%20from_gallup_world_poll_jep_spring2008 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2008. "Happiness Inequality in the United States," NBER Working Papers 14220, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2008. "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 1-102.
    5. Easterlin, Richard A., 2009. "Lost in transition: Life satisfaction on the road to capitalism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 130-145, August.
    6. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 616, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    7. Angus Deaton, 2008. "Income, Health, and Well-Being around the World: Evidence from the Gallup World Poll," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 53-72, Spring.
    8. Wim Kalmijn & Ruut Veenhoven, 2005. "Measuring Inequality of Happiness in Nations: In Search for Proper Statistics," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 357-396, December.
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