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Income, Health, and Well-Being around the World: Evidence from the Gallup World Poll

Author

Listed:
  • Angus Deaton

    (Princeton University)

Abstract

The great promise of surveys in which people report their own level of life satisfaction is that such surveys might provide a straightforward and easily collected measure of individual or national well-being that aggregates over the various components of well-being, such as economic status, health, family circumstances, and even human and political rights. Layard (2005) argues forcefully such measures do indeed achieve this end, providing measures of individual and aggregate happiness that should be the only gauges used to evaluate policy and progress. Such a position is in sharp contrast to the more widely accepted view, associated with Sen (1999), which is that human well-being depends on a range of functions and capabilities that enable people to lead a good life, each of which needs to be directly and objectively measured and which cannot, in general, be aggregated into a single summary measure.

Suggested Citation

  • Angus Deaton, 2008. "Income, Health, and Well-Being around the World: Evidence from the Gallup World Poll," Working Papers 1124, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:cheawb:63
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
    2. Di Tella, Rafael & Haisken-De New, John & MacCulloch, Robert, 2010. "Happiness adaptation to income and to status in an individual panel," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 834-852, December.
    3. Andrew Leigh & Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Happiness and the Human Development Index: Australia Is Not a Paradox," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 39(2), pages 176-184, June.
    4. repec:pri:cepsud:125krueger is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Helliwell, John F., 2003. "How's life? Combining individual and national variables to explain subjective well-being," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 331-360, March.
    6. Easterlin, Richard A., 2006. "Life cycle happiness and its sources: Intersections of psychology, economics, and demography," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 463-482, August.
    7. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger & David Schkade & Norbert Schwarz & Arthur A. Stone, 2006. "Would You Be Happier If You Were Richer? A Focusing Illusion," Working Papers 77, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
    8. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
    9. Carol Graham, 2005. "Insights on Development from the Economics of Happiness," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(2), pages 201-231.
    10. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income; health; well-being; Gallup Poll; good life; economic status;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • D19 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Other

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