IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Exploring Determinants of Subjective Wellbeing in OECD Countries: Evidence from the World Value Survey

Listed author(s):
  • Sarah Fleche


  • Conal Smith


  • Piritta Sorsa


The paper explores issues with assessing wellbeing in OECD countries based on self-reported life satisfaction surveys in a pooled regression over time and countries, at the country level and the OECD average. The results, which are in line with previous studies of subjective wellbeing, show that, apart from income, the state of health, not being unemployed, and social relationships are particularly important for wellbeing with only some differences across countries. The results also show that cultural differences are not major drivers of differences in life satisfaction. Correlations between the rankings of measures of life satisfaction and other indicators of wellbeing such as the Human Development Index and Better Life Index are also relatively high. Measures of subjective wellbeing can play an important part in informing policy makers of progress with wellbeing in general, or what seems to matter for wellbeing— health, being employed and social contacts-- beyond income. Examen des déterminants subjectifs du bien-être dans les pays de l'OCDE : une caractérisation basée sur le World Values Survey Ce document examine les questions liées à l’évaluation du bien-être dans les pays de l'OCDE à partir d’enquêtes de satisfaction de la vie auto-déclarée dans une régression sur un panel de pays avec une dimension temporelle, au niveau des pays et de la moyenne de l'OCDE. Les résultats, similaires à ceux d’études antérieures sur le bien-être subjectif, montrent que, en dehors de revenu, l'état de santé, ne pas être au chômage, et les relations sociales sont particulièrement importantes pour le bien-être, avec des différences limitées entre les pays. Les résultats montrent également que les différences culturelles ne sont pas les principaux facteurs de différences dans la satisfaction de la vie. Les corrélations entre les classements des mesures de satisfaction de la vie et d'autres indicateurs de bien-être tels que l'Indice de développement humain et l'Indice Vivre mieux sont également relativement élevées. Les mesures du bienêtre subjectif peuvent jouer un rôle important en informant les décideurs sur les progrès en termes de bienêtre en général, ou sur ce qui semble contribuer au bien-être – la santé, être employé et les contacts sociaux – au-delà des revenus.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Statistics Working Papers with number 2012/1.

in new window

Date of creation: 31 Jan 2012
Handle: RePEc:oec:stdaaa:2012/1-en
Contact details of provider: Postal:
2 rue Andre Pascal, 75775 Paris Cedex 16

Phone: 33-(0)-1-45 24 82 00
Fax: 33-(0)-1-45 24 85 00
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:stdaaa:2012/1-en. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.