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SWB as a Measure of Individual Well-Being

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  • Andrew E. Clark

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - 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)

Abstract

There is much discussion about using subjective well-being measures as inputs into a social welfare function, which will tell us how well societies are doing. But we have (many) more than one measure of subjective well-being. I here consider examples of the three of the main types (life satisfaction, affect, and eudaimonia) in three European surveys. These are quite strongly correlated with each other, and are correlated with explanatory variables in pretty much the same manner. I provide an overview of a recent literature which has compared how well different subjective well-being measures predict future behaviour, and address the issue of the temporality of well-being measures, and whether they should be analysed ordinally or cardinally.

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  • Andrew E. Clark, 2015. "SWB as a Measure of Individual Well-Being," Working Papers halshs-01134483, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-01134483
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01134483
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrew E. Clark & Yannis Georgellis, 2013. "Back to Baseline in Britain: Adaptation in the British Household Panel Survey," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 80(319), pages 496-512, July.
    2. Daniel Kahneman & Peter P. Wakker & Rakesh Sarin, 1997. "Back to Bentham? Explorations of Experienced Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 375-406.
    3. Andrew Clark & Fabrice Etilé & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Claudia Senik & Karine Van der Straeten, 2005. "Heterogeneity in Reported Well-Being: Evidence from Twelve European Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(502), pages 118-132, March.
    4. Andrew E. Clark & Claudia Senik, 2011. "Is Happiness Different From Flourishing? Cross-Country Evidence from the ESS," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 121(1), pages 17-34.
    5. AndrewE. Clark & Claudia Senik, 2010. "Who Compares to Whom? The Anatomy of Income Comparisons in Europe," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 573-594, May.
    6. Andrew E. Clark, 2003. "Unemployment as a Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 289-322, April.
    7. Christian Scheve & Frederike Esche & Jürgen Schupp, 2017. "The Emotional Timeline of Unemployment: Anticipation, Reaction, and Adaptation," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 1231-1254, August.
    8. Freeman, Richard B, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 135-141, May.
    9. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
    10. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
    11. Clark, Andrew & Knabe, Andreas & Rätzel, Steffen, 2010. "Boon or bane? Others' unemployment, well-being and job insecurity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 52-61, January.
    12. Andrew E. Clark & Ed Diener & Yannis Georgellis & Richard E. Lucas, 2008. "Lags And Leads in Life Satisfaction: a Test of the Baseline Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(529), pages 222-243, June.
    13. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve & Ed Diener & Louis Tay & Cody Xuereb, 2013. "The Objective Benefits of Subjective Well-Being," CEP Discussion Papers dp1236, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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    16. Bernard M. S. van Praag & Barbara E. Baarsma, 2005. "Using Happiness Surveys to Value Intangibles: The Case of Airport Noise," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 224-246, January.
    17. Daniel J. Benjamin & Ori Heffetz & Miles S. Kimball & Nichole Szembrot, 2014. "Beyond Happiness and Satisfaction: Toward Well-Being Indices Based on Stated Preference," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(9), pages 2698-2735, September.
    18. Georgellis, Yannis & Sessions, John & Tsitsianis, Nikolaos, 2007. "Pecuniary and non-pecuniary aspects of self-employment survival," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 94-112, March.
    19. 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.
    20. Felicia Huppert & Nic Marks & Andrew 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," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 91(3), pages 301-315, May.
    21. Fleurbaey, Marc & Blanchet, Didier, 2013. "Beyond GDP: Measuring Welfare and Assessing Sustainability," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199767199.
    22. Andreas Knabe & Steffen Rätzel & Ronnie Schöb & Joachim Weimann, 2009. "Dissatisfied with Life, but Having a Good Day: Time-Use and Well-Being of the Unemployed," CESifo Working Paper Series 2604, CESifo.
    23. Guven, Cahit & Senik, Claudia & Stichnoth, Holger, 2012. "You can’t be happier than your wife. Happiness gaps and divorce," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 110-130.
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    28. George A. Akerlof & Andrew K. Rose & Janet L. Yellen, 1988. "Job Switching and Job Satisfaction in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 495-594.
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    30. Simon Luechinger, 2009. "Valuing Air Quality Using the Life Satisfaction Approach," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 482-515, March.
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    32. Guven, Cahit & Senik, Claudia & Stichnoth, Holger, 2012. "You can’t be happier than your wife. Happiness gaps and divorce," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 110-130.
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    1. SWB as a Measure of Individual Well-Being
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2016-11-14 22:43:01

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    Cited by:

    1. van Hoorn, André, 2018. "Is the happiness approach to measuring preferences valid?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 53-65.
    2. Lepinteur, Anthony, 2019. "The shorter workweek and worker wellbeing: Evidence from Portugal and France," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 204-220.
    3. Berlin, Martin & Fors Connolly, Filip, 2019. "The association between life satisfaction and affective well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 34-51.
    4. Michal Brzezinski, 2019. "Diagnosing Unhappiness Dynamics: Evidence from Poland and Russia," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 20(7), pages 2291-2327, October.
    5. Pugno, Maurizio, 2019. "The economics of eudaimonia," MPRA Paper 96251, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Mariateresa Ciommi & Andrea Gentili & Barbara Ermini & Chiara Gigliarano & Francesco M. Chelli & Mauro Gallegati, 2017. "Have Your Cake and Eat it Too: The Well-Being of the Italians (1861–2011)," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 134(2), pages 473-509, November.
    7. Ahmed, Rifaan & Kesavayuth, Dusanee & Zikos, Vasileios, 2018. "Does being smarter make you happier? Evidence from Europe," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 55-67.

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    Keywords

    Measurement; Predicting behaviour; Affect; Eudaimonia; Subjective well-being; Life satisfaction;

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