Well-Being Measurement and Public Policy

Edited by Richard Layard

in Measuring the Subjective Well-Being of Nations

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780226454566
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226454573 | DOI:
Well-Being Measurement and Public Policy

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This chapter focuses on the intensive study of the experience of daily living, and this provides an important way of assessing the overall quality of an individual's life and the ways in which well-being data can best contribute to public policy debate. Detailed measurement of affect over the day provides excellent information for monitoring well-being and its distribution in the population. Both the Day Reconstruction Method (DRM) and the Princeton Affect and Time Survey (PATS) can play a great role. The most useful analytical measures for each individual would be scalar averages over the day, especially of happiness. The feeling that well-being is fuzzy is similar to the feeling that once prevailed that depression is fuzzy. Determined and repetitive presentation of results from these scales will eventually result in popular understanding of the scales, just as people now understand Fahrenheit and Celsius.

Keywords: well-being; public policy; Day Reconstruction Method; DRM; Princeton Affect and Time Survey; PATS; happiness

Chapter.  3411 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Econometrics and Mathematical Economics

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