Valuing Social Relationships and Improved Health Condition Among the Thai Population
Abstract This paper aims to estimate the effects of the extent of social connections or relationships on an individual’s subjective well-being. The study uses the life satisfaction valuation approach, which involves estimation of the life satisfaction equation and the shadow pricing method, to put price tags on or calculate the monetary values of life satisfaction gained through social connections, relationships and health conditions. An individual’s life satisfaction, the extent of the social activities in which he or she is involved, and the individual’s health condition are subjectively measured in the nationwide Survey on Life Satisfaction among Thai people in 2012. We found that the top three social involvements that increase life satisfaction among the Thai people are interacting with neighbours frequently, participating in community religious activities all the time and participating in community cultural activities all the time. Frequencies of social interactions matter to the individual’s level of life satisfaction. An individual with good health condition tends to report a higher level of life satisfaction. Using the shadow pricing method, we found that the shadow price of having frequent face-to-face interaction with neighbours is approximately 0.51 times the monthly per capita income. The value of participating in community religious activities all the time is approximately 0.49 times the average monthly income. The value of participating in community cultural activities all the time is approximately 0.47 times the monthly income. Having good health condition has the largest effect on life satisfaction: a move from having very poor health to having good health is worth approximately 1.05 times the average monthly income.
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Volume (Year): 17 (2016)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
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