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National Well-being Policy and a Weighted Approach to Human Feelings

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  • O'Donnell, Gus

    (House of Lords)

  • Oswald, Andrew J.

    () (University of Warwick)

Abstract

Governments are becoming interested in the concept of human well-being and how truly to assess it. As an alternative to traditional economic measures, some nations have begun to collect information on citizens' happiness, life satisfaction, and other psychological scores. Yet how could such data actually be used? This paper is a cautious attempt to contribute to thinking on that question. It suggests a possible weighting method to calculate first-order changes in society's well-being, discusses some of the potential principles of democratic 'well-being policy', and (as an illustrative example) reports data on how sub-samples of citizens believe feelings might be weighted.

Suggested Citation

  • O'Donnell, Gus & Oswald, Andrew J., 2015. "National Well-being Policy and a Weighted Approach to Human Feelings," IZA Discussion Papers 9401, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9401
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    1. repec:spr:soinre:v:135:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1505-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ocean, Neel, 2016. "The Determinants Of Well-Being Prioritisation Over The Life Cycle," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 301, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    3. repec:eee:ecolec:v:149:y:2018:i:c:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:kap:jecinq:v:15:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10888-017-9370-x is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    life satisfaction; anxiety; happiness; national well-being; mental health;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • Z18 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Public Policy

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