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Measuring Wellbeing in the SOEP

  • Ulrich Schimmack
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    I define wellbeing as preference realization. Wellbeing can be measured with affective (the amount of pleasant versus unpleasant experiences) and cognitive (satisfaction with life in general and life domains) measures. Since its inception 25 years ago, the SOEP has included cognitive measures of wellbeing. In 2007, the SOEP included four items (happy, sad, angry, afraid) as an affective measure of wellbeing. This paper examines similarities and differences between cognitive and affective measures of wellbeing. In the end, I propose a wellbeing index that combines information from measures of life satisfaction, average domain satisfaction, and affect balance.

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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.90712.de/diw_sp0145.pdf
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    Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 145.

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    Length: 8 p.
    Date of creation: 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp145
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    Web page: http://www.diw.de/en/soep
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    1. 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.
    2. Ulrich Schimmack & Peter Krause & Gert Wagner & Jürgen Schupp, 2010. "Stability and Change of Well Being: An Experimentally Enhanced Latent State-Trait-Error Analysis," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 19-31, January.
    3. Denny Borsboom, 2006. "The attack of the psychometricians," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 71(3), pages 425-440, September.
    4. Ulrich Schimmack & Jürgen Schupp & Gert Wagner, 2008. "The Influence of Environment and Personality on the Affective and Cognitive Component of Subjective Well-being," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 89(1), pages 41-60, October.
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