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SWB as a Measure of Individual Well-Being

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  • Andrew E. Clark

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres, 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)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
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    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.
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    18. Dimitris Mavridis, 2015. "The unhappily unemployed return to work faster," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-22, December.
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    22. 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.
    23. 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.
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    29. Daniel J. Benjamin & Ori Heffetz & Miles S. Kimball & Alex Rees-Jones, 2014. "Can Marginal Rates of Substitution Be Inferred from Happiness Data? Evidence from Residency Choices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(11), pages 3498-3528, November.
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    31. Koen Decancq & Marc Fleurbaey & Erik Schokkaert, 2015. "Happiness, Equivalent Incomes and Respect for Individual Preferences," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 82, pages 1082-1106, December.
    32. Clark, Andrew E., 2001. "What really matters in a job? Hedonic measurement using quit data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 223-242, May.
    33. 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.
    34. Green, Francis, 2010. "Well-being, job satisfaction and labour mobility," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 897-903, December.
    35. Daniel J. Benjamin & Ori Heffetz & Miles S. Kimball & Alex Rees-Jones, 2012. "What Do You Think Would Make You Happier? What Do You Think You Would Choose?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2083-2110, August.
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    39. Fischer, Justina AV, 2009. "Subjective Well-Being as Welfare Measure: Concepts and Methodology," MPRA Paper 16619, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    40. Powdthavee, Nattavudh & van den Berg, Bernard, 2011. "Putting different price tags on the same health condition: Re-evaluating the well-being valuation approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1032-1043.
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    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. Lidia Ceriani & Chiara Gigliarano, 0. "Multidimensional Well-Being: A Bayesian Networks Approach," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-27.
    3. Clark, Andrew E. & Lee, Tom, 2021. "Early-life correlates of later-life well-being: Evidence from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 360-368.
    4. 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.
    5. Maurizio Pugno, 2021. "The economics of eudaimonia," Chapters, in: Luigino Bruni & Alessandra Smerilli & Dalila De Rosa (ed.), A Modern Guide to the Economics of Happiness, chapter 4, pages 46-66, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Lepinteur, Anthony, 2019. "The shorter workweek and worker wellbeing: Evidence from Portugal and France," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 204-220.
    7. 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.
    8. Michal Brzezinski, 2019. "Diagnosing Unhappiness Dynamics: Evidence from Poland and Russia," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 20(7), pages 2291-2327, October.
    9. Lidia Ceriani & Chiara Gigliarano, 2020. "Multidimensional Well-Being: A Bayesian Networks Approach," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 152(1), pages 237-263, November.
    10. Clark, Andrew E. & Lee, Tom, 2021. "Early-life correlates of later-life well-being: Evidence from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 360-368.
    11. Clark, Andrew E. & Lee, Tom, 2021. "Early-life correlates of later-life well-being: Evidence from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 360-368.
    12. Noel Semple, 2021. "Good Enough for Government Work? Life-Evaluation and Public Policy," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 1119-1140, March.
    13. 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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