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Measuring Wellbeing in the SOEP

Author

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  • Ulrich Schimmack

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ulrich Schimmack, 2008. "Measuring Wellbeing in the SOEP," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 145, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp145
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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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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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 & Jürgen Schupp & Gert Wagner, 2008. "The Influence of Environment and Personality on the Affective and Cognitive Component of Subjective Well-being," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 89(1), pages 41-60, October.
    3. Denny Borsboom, 2006. "The attack of the psychometricians," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 71(3), pages 425-440, September.
    4. 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: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 19-31, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aguilar, Alexandra Cortés & García Muñoz, Teresa M. & Moro-Egido, Ana I., 2013. "Heterogeneous self-employment and satisfaction in Latin America," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 44-61.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    General welfare; quality of life; happiness; wellbeing;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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    1. SOEP based publications

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