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Measuring human wellbeing in Pakistan: objective versus subjective indicators


  • Haq, Rashida


The concern for measuring wellbeing objectively and subjectively is found in modern political philosophy. This study explores objective indicators versus subjective perceptions of human wellbeing in ranking of survey data for districts of Pakistan. Data used for the analysis is ‘The Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement Survey’ for the year 2006-07. The human wellbeing is examined in four domains: education, health, living conditions and economic situation. Principal component analysis is employed for indexing human wellbeing for hundred districts, rated in five quintiles are generated. The paper demonstrates the importance of education domain in determining the human wellbeing. Objective indicators of education: literacy rate, net primary enrolment and gender equality in education are positively correlated with subjective satisfaction in education facilities. Economic status of the households and communities are important variables in subjective perception of wellbeing. The results indicate substantial variation in objective wellbeing among districts of Pakistan It may be considered that disparity in objective condition and in subjective perceptions are adequately depicting wellbeing differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Haq, Rashida, 2009. "Measuring human wellbeing in Pakistan: objective versus subjective indicators," MPRA Paper 38968, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:38968

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rizwana Siddiqui, 2008. "Income, Public Social Services, and Capability Development: A Cross-district Analysis of Pakistan," PIDE-Working Papers 2008:43, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    2. repec:pje:journl:article1982winii is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ed Diener & Eunkook Suh, 1997. "Measuring Quality Of Life: Economic, Social, And Subjective Indicators," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 189-216, January.
    4. 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.
    5. ED Diener, 1995. "A value based index for measuring national quality of life," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 107-127, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rashida Haq & Azkar Ahmed & Siama Shafique, 2010. "Variation in the Quality of Life within Punjab: Evidence from MICS, 2007-08," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 49(4), pages 863-879.
    2. Noraini Noor & Anjli Gandhi & Ismahalil Ishak & Saodah Wok, 2014. "Development of Indicators for Family Well-Being in Malaysia," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 115(1), pages 279-318, January.

    More about this item


    Well-being; objective indicators; subjective indicators; quality of life; ranking;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics


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