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Dimensions of Quality of Life in Germany: Measured by Plain Text Responses in a Representative Survey (SOEP)

Author

Listed:
  • Wagner, Gert G.

    (Max Planck Institute for Human Development)

  • Bruemmer, Martin

    (University of Leipzig)

  • Glemser, Axel

    (Kantar Public)

  • Rohrer, Julia

    (DIW Berlin)

  • Schupp, Jürgen

    (DIW Berlin)

Abstract

This paper demonstrates how quality of life can be measured by plain text in a representative survey, the German Socio Economic Panel Study (SOEP). Furthermore, the paper shows that problems that are difficult to monitor, especially problems like the state of the European Union, long-term climate change but also the national debt or problems with the quality of consumer goods (like food) and services (like medical treatment), are not issues of particular importance to the majority of people. Developments and risks that are difficult to monitor and only have long-term effects should be left primarily to the discourse conducted by experts and the politically-minded "elites", the avant garde. And in representative democracies it is ultimately the parliamentarians who must decide. Parliamentarians are likely able to make somewhat better decisions using modern representative surveys and national dialogues than they would be without these instruments of civic participation. Nevertheless, improved civic participation cannot replace parliaments.

Suggested Citation

  • Wagner, Gert G. & Bruemmer, Martin & Glemser, Axel & Rohrer, Julia & Schupp, Jürgen, 2017. "Dimensions of Quality of Life in Germany: Measured by Plain Text Responses in a Representative Survey (SOEP)," IZA Discussion Papers 10521, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10521
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rohrer, Julia M. & Brümmer, Martin & Schmukle, Stefan C. & Goebel, Jan & Wagner, Gert G., 2017. ""What else are you worried about?" – Integrating textual responses into quantitative social science research," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 1-34.
    2. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
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    Cited by:

    1. Julia M. Rohrer & Martin Bruemmer & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2017. "Worries across Time and Age in Germany: Bringing Together Open- and Close-Ended Questions," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1671, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    quality of life; dimensions; open-ended questions; automated text analysis; German Socio Economic Panel Study; SOEP;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • C88 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Other Computer Software
    • D69 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Other
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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