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

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  • Oswald, Andrew J

    (Department of Economics University of Warwick, CAGE and IZA)

  • O’Donnell, Gus

    (House of Lords, Frontier Economics)

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

  • Oswald, Andrew J & O’Donnell, Gus, 2015. "National Well-being Policy and a Weighted Approach to Human Feelings," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1071, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:1071
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    1. Literature on Well-Being and Covid Policy
      by Liam Delaney in Economics, Psychology and Policy on 2021-04-22 23:51:00

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    2. Lucía Macchia & Anke C. Plagnol, 2019. "Life Satisfaction and Confidence in National Institutions: Evidence from South America," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 14(3), pages 721-736, July.
    3. Voznyak, Halyna & Mulska, Olha & Bil, Mariana & Patytska, Khrystyna & Lysiak, Liubov, 2022. "Financial well-being of territorial communities and the economic growth of the regions of Ukraine: assessment and modeling of interrelation," Agricultural and Resource Economics: International Scientific E-Journal, Agricultural and Resource Economics: International Scientific E-Journal, vol. 8(2), June.
    4. Bruno S. Frey, 2020. "What are the opportunities for future happiness research?," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 67(1), pages 5-12, March.
    5. H. Xavier Jara & Erik Schokkaert, 2017. "Putting measures of individual well-being to use for ex-ante policy evaluation," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 15(4), pages 421-440, December.
    6. Paul Dolan & Kate Laffan & Alina Velias, 2022. "Who’s miserable now? Identifying clusters of people with the lowest subjective wellbeing in the UK," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 58(4), pages 679-710, May.
    7. Xavier Jara Tamayo, Holguer & Schokkaert, Erik, 2016. "Putting subjective well-being to use for ex-ante policy evaluation," EUROMOD Working Papers EM9/16, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    8. 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).
    9. Haavard Maridal, J. & Palich, Les & Morgan, Grant & Gardner, Steven & McKinney, Joe & Bolbocean, Corneliu, 2018. "Wellbeing Indices: A Comprehensive Inventory of Standards and a Review of Current Comparative Measures," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 1-11.
    10. Christopher Barrington-Leigh & Jan T. Wollenberg, 2019. "Informing Policy Priorities using Inference from Life Satisfaction Responses in a Large Community Survey," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 14(4), pages 911-924, September.
    11. Carol Graham, 2005. "The Economics of Happiness," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 6(3), pages 41-55, July.

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    16. Andrew J. Oswald & Stephen Wu, 2011. "Well-Being across America," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1118-1134, November.
    17. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2006. "Income and happiness: Evidence, explanations and economic implications," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590436, HAL.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Life satisfaction ; anxiety ; happiness ; national well-being ; mental health;
    All these keywords.

    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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