IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cep/cepsps/23.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Measuring Subjective Wellbeing for Public Policy: Recommendations on Measures

Author

Listed:
  • Paul Dolan
  • Richard Layard
  • Robert Metcalfe

Abstract

The measurement of wellbeing is central to public policy. There are three uses for any measure: 1) monitoring progress; 2) informing policy design; and 3) policy appraisal. There has been increasing interest in the UK and around the world in using measures of subjective wellbeing (SWB) at each of these levels. There is much less clarity about precisely what measures of SWB should be used. We distinguish between three broad types of SWB measure: 1) evaluation (global assessments); 2) experience (feelings over short periods of time); and 3) 'eudemonic' (reports of purpose and meaning, and worthwhile things in life).

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Dolan & Richard Layard & Robert Metcalfe, 2011. "Measuring Subjective Wellbeing for Public Policy: Recommendations on Measures," CEP Reports 23, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepsps:23
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/special/cepsp23.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nicole Watson & Mark Wooden, 2004. "Sample Attrition in the HILDA Survey," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 7(2), pages 293-308, June.
    2. Clark, Andrew E., 2009. "Work, Jobs and Well-Being across the Millennium," IZA Discussion Papers 3940, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Freeman, Richard B, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 135-141, May.
    4. Paul Dolan & Robert Metcalfe, 2008. "Comparing Willingness-to-Pay and Subjective Well-Being in the Context of Non-Market Goods," CEP Discussion Papers dp0890, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    5. Andrew E. Clark & Yannis Georgellis, 2002. "Unemployment Alters the Set-Point for Life Satisfaction," Economics and Finance Discussion Papers 02-16, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
    6. Paul Dolan & Tessa Peasgood, 2008. "Measuring Well-Being for Public Policy: Preferences or Experiences?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages 5-31, June.
    7. Andreas Knabe & Steffen Rätzel & Ronnie Schöb & Joachim Weimann, 2010. "Dissatisfied with Life but Having a Good Day: Time-use and Well-being of the Unemployed," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(547), pages 867-889, September.
    8. 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.
    9. Esteban Calvo & Kelly Haverstick & Steven A. Sass, 2007. "What Makes Retirees Happier: A Gradual or 'Cold Turkey' Retirement?," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2007-18, Center for Retirement Research, revised Oct 2007.
    10. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
    11. van Praag, B. M. S. & Frijters, P. & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, A., 2003. "The anatomy of subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 29-49, May.
    12. Carol Graham, 2010. "The Challenges of Incorporating Empowerment into the HDI: Some Lessons from Happiness Economics and Quality of Life Research," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-13, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    13. Bradford, W. David & Dolan, Paul, 2010. "Getting used to it: The adaptive global utility model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 811-820, December.
    14. Frick, Joachim R. & Goebel, Jan & Schechtman, Edna & Wagner, Gert G. & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2004. "Using Analysis of Gini (ANoGi) for Detecting Whether Two Sub-Samples Represent the Same Universe: The SOEP Experience," IZA Discussion Papers 1049, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. John F. Helliwell, 2008. "Life Satisfaction and Quality of Development," NBER Working Papers 14507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
    17. Dolan, Paul & Peasgood, Tessa & White, Mathew, 2008. "Do we really know what makes us happy A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 94-122, February.
    18. Dolan, Paul & Metcalfe, Robert, 2010. "'Oops...I did it again': Repeated focusing effects in reports of happiness," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 732-737, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Dolan, Paul & Layard, Richard & Metcalfe, Robert, 2011. "Measuring subjective well-being for public policy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 35420, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Matthew D Rablen, 2012. "The promotion of local wellbeing: A primer for policymakers," Local Economy, London South Bank University, vol. 27(3), pages 297-314, May.
    3. J. Haavard Maridal, 2017. "A Worldwide Measure of Societal Quality of Life," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 134(1), pages 1-38, October.
    4. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2012. "Recent Developments in the Economics of Happiness: A Selective Overview," IZA Discussion Papers 7078, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Marcus Dittrich & Bianka Mey, 2015. "Are people satisfied with their time use? Empirical evidence from German survey data," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(4), pages 2903-2914.
    6. Grimani, Katerina, 2014. "Labor earnings and Psychological well-being: An Empirical Analysis," MPRA Paper 57098, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Sarracino, Francesco, 2013. "Determinants of subjective well-being in high and low income countries: Do happiness equations differ across countries?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 51-66.
    8. Martin Binder, 2015. "Do it with joy: Subjective well-being outcomes of working in non-profit organizations," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2015-03, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    9. Getinet A. Haile, 2015. "Workplace Job Satisfaction in Britain: Evidence from Linked Employer–Employee Data," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 29(3), pages 225-242, September.
    10. Yuta J. Masuda & Jason R. Williams & Heather Tallis, 2021. "Does Life Satisfaction Vary with Time and Income? Investigating the Relationship Among Free Time, Income, and Life Satisfaction," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 22(5), pages 2051-2073, June.
    11. Bahadır Dursun & Resul Cesur, 2016. "Transforming lives: the impact of compulsory schooling on hope and happiness," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 911-956, July.
    12. Romina Boarini & Margherita Comola & Femke Keulenaer & Robert Manchin & Conal Smith, 2013. "Can Governments Boost People’s Sense of Well-Being? The Impact of Selected Labour Market and Health Policies on Life Satisfaction," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 114(1), pages 105-120, October.
    13. Martin Binder & Alex Coad, 2011. ""I'm afraid I have bad news for you . . ." Estimating the impact of different health impairments on subjective well-being," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2011-15, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    14. Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio & Molina, José Alberto, 2015. "Voluntary Activities and Daily Happiness in the US," IZA Discussion Papers 8764, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Ravid, Oded & Malul, Miki & Zultan, Ro’i, 2017. "The effect of economic cycles on job satisfaction in a two-sector economy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 1-9.
    16. Leonardo Becchetti & Alessandra Pelloni, 2013. "What are we learning from the life satisfaction literature?," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 60(2), pages 113-155, June.
    17. Vinod Mishra & Ingrid Nielsen & Russell Smyth, 2010. "Relative Income, Temporary Life Shocks and Subjective Wellbeing in the Long-run," Monash Economics Working Papers 51-10, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    18. Mikucka, Malgorzata & Sarracino, Francesco, 2014. "Making economic growth and well-being compatible: the role of trust and income inequality," MPRA Paper 59695, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Pablo Diego-Rosell & Robert Tortora & James Bird, 2018. "International Determinants of Subjective Well-Being: Living in a Subjectively Material World," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 123-143, January.
    20. Powdthavee, Nattavudh & Stutzer, Alois, 2014. "Economic Approaches to Understanding Change in Happiness," IZA Discussion Papers 8131, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:cepsps:23. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/special-reports/ .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/special-reports/ .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.