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How to assess happiness? A tale of three measures

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  • Vani Borooah

Abstract

A growing literature in economics points to the importance of targeting policy towards making people happy rather than towards making them well-off. Empirical work in this area relies, however, on a simple direct question to survey respondents on how happy they feel. This study shows, using three different measures of happiness/unhappiness, that while there was a commonality in the factors making for happiness (or unhappiness), the quantitative strength of the factors, in terms of their effects on the various outcomes, differed according to the definition used. Moreover, some factors influenced particular measures of happiness but did not influence others.

Suggested Citation

  • Vani Borooah, 2005. "How to assess happiness? A tale of three measures," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 191-194.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:12:y:2005:i:3:p:191-194
    DOI: 10.1080/1350485042000323686
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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. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-659, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Hummel, 2016. "Inter-State Internal Migration: State-level Wellbeing as a Cause," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(5), pages 2149-2165, October.

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