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Measuring inequality of subjective well-being: A Bayesian approach

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  • Hasegawa, Hikaru
  • Ueda, Kazuhiro

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hasegawa, Hikaru & Ueda, Kazuhiro, 2011. "Measuring inequality of subjective well-being: A Bayesian approach," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 700-708.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:40:y:2011:i:5:p:700-708
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2011.05.009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2008. "Happiness Inequality in the United States," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages 33-79, June.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Hikaru Hasegawa & Kazuhiro Ueda, 2014. "Self-Assessed Social Position and Poverty," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(3), pages 571-595, September.
    2. Mohanty, Madhu S. & Ullah, Aman, 2012. "Direct and indirect effects of happiness on wage: A simultaneous equations approach," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 143-152.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bayesian ordered probit model; Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC); Regretted subjective well-being;

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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