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Measuring well-being across Europe: description of the ESS well-being module and preliminary findings

Author

Listed:
  • Felicia Huppert

    (The Well-being Institute - Department of Psychiatry - University of Cambridge - CAM - University of Cambridge [UK])

  • Nic Marks

    (The Centre for Well-being - New economics foundation)

  • Andrew E. Clark

    (PJSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Johannes Siegrist

    (Institut für Medizinische Soziologie - Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf [Düsseldorf])

  • Alois Stutzer

    (Department of Business and Economics - University of Basel - Unibas - University of Basel)

  • Joar Vittersø

    (Institutt for Psykologi - UiT - University of Tromsø)

  • Morten Wahrendorf

    (Institut für Medizinische Soziologie - Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf [Düsseldorf])

Abstract

It has become customary to judge the success of a society through the use of objective indicators, predominantly economic and social ones. Yet in most developed nations, increases in income, education and health have arguably not produced comparable increases in happiness or life satisfaction. While much has been learned from the introduction of subjective measures of global happiness or life satisfaction into surveys, significant recent progress in the development of high-quality subjective measures of personal and social well-being has not been fully exploited. This article describes the development of a set of well-being indicators which were included in Round 3 of the European Social Survey. This Well-being Module seeks to evaluate the success of European countries in promoting the personal and social well-being of their citizens. In addition to providing a better understanding of domain-specific measures, such as those relating to family, work and income, the design of the Well-being Module recognises that advancement in the field requires us to look beyond measures which focus on how people feel (happiness, pleasure, satisfaction) to measures which are more concerned with how well they function. This also shifts the emphasis from relatively transient states of well-being to measures of more sustainable well-being. The ESS Well-being Module represents one of the first systematic attempts to create a set of policy-relevant national well-being accounts.

Suggested Citation

  • Felicia Huppert & Nic Marks & Andrew E. Clark & Johannes Siegrist & Alois Stutzer & Joar Vittersø & Morten Wahrendorf, 2009. "Measuring well-being across Europe: description of the ESS well-being module and preliminary findings," PSE-Ecole d'économie de Paris (Postprint) halshs-00754379, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:pseptp:halshs-00754379
    DOI: 10.1007/s11205-008-9346-0
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-pjse.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00754379
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