Article

Measuring National Well-being -What matters most to Personal Well-being?

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

This article uses data from the Annual Population Survey collected between April 2011 and March 2012 which includes measures of personal well-being. It describes the results of regression analysis – a statistical technique which analyses variation in well-being outcomes by specific characteristics and circumstances of individuals while holding all other characteristics equal. This allows for a better understanding of what matters most to personal well-being than when different factors are considered separately.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... In later life, older adults' social networks increasingly become restricted due to the onset of losses, such as physical health declines (Steptoe et al., 2013;Burholt and Scharf, 2014), mobility problems (Rosso et al., 2013) and driving cessation (Siren and Hausten, 2015;Doebler, 2016). Whilst living in a rural area is sometimes romanticised (Walsh et al., 2012) and associated with better life satisfaction (Milbourne and Doheny, 2012;Oguz et al., 2013), older people who live rurally may encounter significant disadvantages in terms of social integration. For example, in rural areas, institutional disengagement occurs as venues commonly associated with rural social interactions, such as the local post office, convenience shops and pubs, are increasingly in decline and disappearing (Gray, 2004;Milbourne and Doheny, 2012;Walsh et al., 2012). ...
Article
Rural-dwelling older adults experience significant shrinkage in their social networks and capital due to transitions in later life related to poor physical health, mobility difficulties and bereavements. Being rurally located adds an extra layer of disadvantage. This article explores how older adults may use community transport systems to not only facilitate important social tasks but also maintain friendships and other valued relationships. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 11 users of a rural transport community bus service in western Northern Ireland. The interviews identified that participants viewed the transport system as a highly valued conduit for helping escape isolation, maintaining autonomy, and providing an informal space for relationship building and accessing local news.
... Sample of two lower strength alcohol labels seen by participants (one in wine, one in beer)level measures of highest educational qualification, income and occupational status, and neighborhood-level deprivation assessed from postcode information and transformed into an Index of Multiple Deprivation-IMD; seeOguz, Merad, & Snape, 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
Lower strength alcohol products may help reduce alcohol consumption and associated harms. This study assessed the impact of labelling wine and beer with different verbal descriptors denoting lower strength, with and without %ABV, on product appeal and understanding of strength. 3,390 adult survey-panel members were randomised to one of 18 groups with one of three levels of verbal descriptor (Low vs. Super Low vs. No verbal descriptor) and six levels of %ABV (5 levels varying for wine and beer, and no level given). Products with verbal descriptors denoting lower strength (Low and Super Low) had lower appeal than Regular strength products. Appeal decreased as %ABV decreased. Understanding of strength was generally high across the various drinks with majority of participants correctly identifying or erring on the side of caution when estimating the units and calories in a given drink, appropriateness for consumption by children, and drinking within the driving limit. We discuss the theoretical and policy implications of these findings for public health.
... Measures of well-being have evolved from objective measures, such as the population average gross domestic product and the HDI, which by definition do not address inequality, to a more nuanced consideration of SWB that queries entire populations on how they think and feel about their lives. Such SWB measures have been demonstrated in several rounds of the census in the United Kingdom [18]. Increasingly, the science of measuring SWB has converged, and scales have been developed to measure evaluative, emotional, and eudemonic SWB. ...
Article
Full-text available
Developing sustainable, livable and equitable cities is a major policy goal. However, livability metrics are amorphous, emphasizing different dimensions. This paper develops a novel data-driven approach by directly surveying subjective well-being (SWB) of urban residents, alongside satisfaction with key social-ecological-infrastructural-urban correlates to inform livability and equity priorities. Our survey is novel in quantifying SWB (Cantril Ladder) of urban residents and evaluating both household- and neighborhood-level correlates while addressing confounding effects of socio-demographics and personality. We propose a three-way typology of provisioning systems – foundational, consistently important and added-bonus – based on their quantitative relationship with SWB. Implemented in the Twin-Cities USA, among 21 attributes, home heating-cooling, neighborhood greenery, access to public transportation and snow removal emerged as foundational in cold Minnesota climates; home size was consistently important and satisfaction with streets an added-bonus. Assessing inequality in foundational and consistently important categories revealed disparities by income and race, informing local infrastructure priorities for livability and equity. Key insights emerged on sufficiency and sustainability.
... Studies of underemployment and well-being have tended to be limited to a small number of Anglophone countries, primarily Australia (Wilkins, 2007), the USA (Friedland and Price, 2003;Maynard et al., 2006;Prause and Dooley, 1997) and the UK (Kamer de and Richardson, 2017;New Economics Foundation, 2013;Oguz, 2013). Less is known about relationships between dimensions of underemployment and well-being elsewhere; nor have there been any comparative studies of variations in the relationship between underemployment and well-being between countries or between regional groupings of countries. ...
Article
This paper examines the consequences of underemployment for the well-being of workers in European countries. Previous studies of the impact of underemployment on well-being have tended to focus on a single country or occupational group and have examined single dimensions of underemployment. This paper, by contrast, examines experiences across several European economies and explores two different dimensions of underemployment: the gap between hours of work and workers’ desired hours and the under-utilisation of their skills and abilities. The paper uses data from the 2015 European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) and explains the consequences of underemployment for well-being by drawing on the international comparative political economy literature, particularly the theorisation and analysis of comparative employment and welfare regimes. We find that while underemployment is generally associated with lower levels of well-being, the nature and strength of relationships between different dimensions of underemployment and well-being vary between employment regimes. The paper also highlights the detrimental consequences of ‘over-employment’ for workers’ well-being and shows that the well-being of women tends to be lower than that of men, regardless of employment regime.
... Other measures: Demographic characteristics. The following were recorded: age, gender, ethnicity, and SES (assessed using individual-level measures of highest educational qualification, income and occupational status, and area-level (i.e., neighborhood) deprivation assessed from postcode information and transformed into an Index of Multiple Deprivation, IMD; see Oguz, Merad, & Snape, 2013). The IMD is the official measure of relative deprivation for small areas (or neighborhoods) in England, which ranks every small area in England from 1 (most deprived area) to 32,844 (least deprived area). ...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Labels indicating low/light versions of tobacco and foods are perceived as less harmful, which may encourage people to consume more. There is an absence of evidence concerning the impact on consumption of labeling alcohol products as lower in strength. The current study tests the hypothesis that labeling wine and beer as lower in alcohol increases their consumption. Method: Weekly wine and beer drinkers (n = 264) sampled from a representative panel of the general population of England were randomized to one of three groups to taste test drinks in a bar-laboratory varying only in the label displayed; Group 1: verbal descriptor Super Low combined with 4% alcohol by volume (ABV) for wine/1% ABV for beer; Group 2: verbal descriptor Low combined with 8% ABV for wine/3% ABV for beer; Group 3: no verbal descriptors of strength (Regular). Primary outcome was total volume (ml) of drink consumed. Results: The results supported the study hypothesis: the total amount of drink consumed increased as the label on the drink denoted successively lower alcohol strength, BLin = .71, p = .015, 95% CI [0.13, 1.30]. Group contrasts showed significant differences between those offered drinks labeled as Super Low (M = 213.77) compared with Regular (M = 176.85), B = 1.43, p = .019, 95% CI [0.24, 2.61]. There was no significant difference in amount consumed between those offered drinks labeled as Low compared with Regular. Conclusions: These results suggest that labeling drinks as lower in strength increases the amount consumed. Further studies are warranted to test for replication in non-laboratory settings and to estimate whether any effects are at a level with the potential to harm health. Trial registration: ISRCTN15530806
... For example, research focused on adolescents and young adults suggests that differential access to material and social resources, social support, and social exclusion explains, at least in part, observed negative associations between disability and wellbeing. 23,24 There is also evidence to suggest moderation of disability-related differences in PWB by gender, 25 self-rated health status, 12 and partnership status. 26 This evolving body of knowledge suggests that disability-related inequalities in wellbeing should not be interpreted as evidence for a direct negative impact of an individual's impairment on their level of wellbeing. ...
Article
Background: Few population-based studies have examined the association between disability and personal wellbeing (PWB) among working-age adults. Objective/hypothesis: To determine: (1) the magnitude of differences in wellbeing between working-age adults with and without disability in contemporary samples representative of the UK population; and (2) whether the size of any observed differences between people with and without disability is moderated by age, gender, ethnicity, partnership status, educational attainment or employment status. Methods: Secondary analysis of data from three national cross-sectional surveys. Results: In each survey, people with disability scored lower than people without disability on all four indicators of PWB. Adjusting for the main effects of potentially moderating variables reduced the effect size of disability on PWB by an average of 24%. Subsequently adjusting for the two-way interaction terms between disability and potentially moderating variables reduced the effect size of disability (main effect) on PWB by an additional average of 73%. PWB among people with disability was significantly lower for: (1) men; (2) younger people; (3) those who belong to the majority ethnic group (white British); (4) those without a partner; and (5) people with lower socio-economic position. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that demographic characteristics and exposure to specific social determinants of poor health play a major role in the negative association between disability and personal wellbeing. A more sophisticated understanding of how social determinants interact to produce inequities associated with identities such as disability, gender, race, sexuality, and class (intersectionality) can inform effective policy interventions.
... Women and men were nearly equally satisfied. Younger EU citizens were more satisfied than elder groups (Quality of life in Europe - facts and views -overall life satisfaction, 2015; Oguz et al., 2013). Such reports do not include influence of EU grants. ...
... Moreover, earlier studies show that age squared should be included in order to account for its non-linear effects (Abdallah, Stoll and Eiffe. 2013;Oguz., Merad and Snape, 2013). There is a consensus that subjective well-being is higher for young and elderly people and lower for individuals between these age groups. ...
Book
Full-text available
The aim of this study is to estimate and compare subjective well-being in the EU member states. Moreover, the study investigates the objective factors influencing the level of SWB. Special attention was paid to the relationship between subjective well-being and income and subjective well-being and age. The study also contains a comparative analysis of national profiles of subjective well-being in the EU member states. In addition, the EU member states were classified taking into account the degree of similarity between the structure of subjective well-being (similarity of relationships between the indicators of SWB components). The theoretical part includes a novel approach to measuring subjective well-being, which is based on recent recommendations of Eurostat and A. Sen’s capabilities approach. Under this approach, heterogeneous ways of maximizing SWB are taken into account, resulting from individuals’ capabilities and preferences and different living conditions, which depend on the stage of economic development and social customs in the country concerned. Moreover, this approach makes it possible to empirically verify hypotheses about potential factors influencing the dimensions of SWB. A multiple indicators and multiple causes (MIMIC) model was used to operationalise the capabilities approach. Based on the results of the MIMIC model, subjective well-being index (SWBI) and subjective well-being component indices (SWBCI) were proposed. The recommended method of constructing SWB indicators yields results that are comparable between countries and SWB components. In addition, a number of SWB kernel density estimations were performed in the general populations of the countries analysed in the study in order to gain addition comparative insights into SWB. A comparative analysis of national profiles by subjective well-being was carried out using one of the methods of factor analysis, namely correspondence analysis. The classification of the EU member states in terms of the similarity between their structures of subjective well-being (similarity of relationships between the indicators of SWB components) was conducted using agglomerative hierarchical cluster analysis. Various tools were proposed to analyse the relationship between subjective well-being and income and between subjective well-being and age. Firstly, the relationships were evaluated by estimating the kernel regression of SWB on income and on age, for each the EU country separately. Next, differences in the relationship between average SWBI and average equivalised income in the EU countries were analysed. Finally, the kernel regression function of average values of SWBI on average equivalised income was estimated for all data points representing the EU countries. In the empirical part, we used the proposed methodology to estimate SWB indicators in the EU member states in 2018. Moreover, we examined which factors determined subjective well-being in these countries. Next, we conducted a comparative analysis of national profiles in terms of subjective well-being and the clustering of EU-27 countries according to the similarity of their structures of subjective well-being. Finally, interrelationships between subjective well-being and its determinants were analysed. The empirical analyses was based on data from the European Union Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) for 2018.
... The SWEMWBS well-being measure should be treated as a continuous metric (Stewart-Brown et al., 2009) and was thus modelled using a linear mixed model in the lme4 package (Bates, Maechler, Bolker, & Walker, 2014). ONS response variables are, in the strictest sense, ordinal data on a ten point scale, but best practice guidance and previous analyses of these response variables indicate that they can be treated as continuous data as this increases interpretability and does not alter conclusions (Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Frijters, 2004;Oguz, Merad, & Snape, 2013;Rhemtulla, Brosseau-Liard, & Savalei, 2012). We thus follow this advice and report in the main body of the manuscript the results of linear mixed models constructed using the lme4 package (Bates et al., 2014), but take a conservative approach and also constructed ordered mixed probit regressions using the ordinal package (Christensen, 2015). ...
Article
Full-text available
Maintaining mental well-being in highly urbanised locations, especially large cities, is challenging but exposure to green-space can promote well-being. We address three poorly resolved questions concerning the relationships between mental health, urbanisation and green-space: i) the relative importance of city size, local intensity of urbanisation and visiting green-space, ii) if visits to urban green-space and the countryside have equivalent associations with well-being, and iii) if biodiversity knowledge moderates relationships between well-being and visiting green-space (such moderation may occur if exposure to biodiversity contributes to relationships between visiting green-space and well-being). We use data from just over 200 respondents recruited in randomised door-to-door surveys across six English cities. We find that visiting green-space increases mental well-being but that city size and the intensity of urbanisation around respondents’ homes have negligible influence. The limited effect of local urbanisation holds when considering the perceived amount of greenery or built-up land rather than objectively quantified indices. More frequent visits to the countryside and urban green-space are positively associated with higher well-being scores, but visits to urban green-space are more strongly associated with lower anxiety, whilst countryside visits associate with higher life satisfaction. Biodiversity knowledge did not consistently moderate relationships between well-being and green-space visit rates. Whilst we use a cross-sectional approach our data suggest that mental well-being can be achieved by residents in highly urbanised locations if they frequently access green-space, but achieving high well-being across all its components requires access to the countryside and not just urban green-space.
Article
Full-text available
Level of education is a predictor of a range of important outcomes, such as political interest and cynicism, social trust, health, well-being, and intergroup attitudes. We address a gap in the literature by analyzing the strength and stability of the education effect associated with this diverse range of outcomes across three surveys covering the period 1986-2011, including novel latent growth analyses of the stability of the education effect within the same individuals over time. Our analyses of the British Social Attitudes Survey, British Household Panel Survey, and International Social Survey Programme indicated that the education effect was robust across these outcomes and relatively stable over time, with higher education levels being associated with higher trust and political interest, better health and well-being, and with less political cynicism and less negative intergroup attitudes. The education effect was strongest when associated with political outcomes and attitudes towards immigrants, whereas it was weakest when associated with health and well-being. Most of the education effect appears to be due to the beneficial consequences of having a university education. Our results demonstrate that this beneficial education effect is also manifested in within-individual changes, with the education effect tending to become stronger as individuals age.
Article
Full-text available
Background: Poor health can cause unhappiness and poor health increases mortality. Previous reports of reduced mortality associated with happiness could be due to the increased mortality of people who are unhappy because of their poor health. Also, unhappiness might be associated with lifestyle factors that can affect mortality. We aimed to establish whether, after allowing for the poor health and lifestyle of people who are unhappy, any robust evidence remains that happiness or related subjective measures of wellbeing directly reduce mortality. Methods: The Million Women Study is a prospective study of UK women recruited between 1996 and 2001 and followed electronically for cause-specific mortality. 3 years after recruitment, the baseline questionnaire for the present report asked women to self-rate their health, happiness, stress, feelings of control, and whether they felt relaxed. The main analyses were of mortality before Jan 1, 2012, from all causes, from ischaemic heart disease, and from cancer in women who did not have heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive lung disease, or cancer at the time they answered this baseline questionnaire. We used Cox regression, adjusted for baseline self-rated health and lifestyle factors, to calculate mortality rate ratios (RRs) comparing mortality in women who reported being unhappy (ie, happy sometimes, rarely, or never) with those who reported being happy most of the time. Findings: Of 719,671 women in the main analyses (median age 59 years [IQR 55-63]), 39% (282,619) reported being happy most of the time, 44% (315,874) usually happy, and 17% (121,178) unhappy. During 10 years (SD 2) follow-up, 4% (31,531) of participants died. Self-rated poor health at baseline was strongly associated with unhappiness. But after adjustment for self-rated health, treatment for hypertension, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, depression, or anxiety, and several sociodemographic and lifestyle factors (including smoking, deprivation, and body-mass index), unhappiness was not associated with mortality from all causes (adjusted RR for unhappy vs happy most of the time 0·98, 95% CI 0·94-1·01), from ischaemic heart disease (0·97, 0·87-1·10), or from cancer (0·98, 0·93-1·02). Findings were similarly null for related measures such as stress or lack of control. Interpretation: In middle-aged women, poor health can cause unhappiness. After allowing for this association and adjusting for potential confounders, happiness and related measures of wellbeing do not appear to have any direct effect on mortality. Funding: UK Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK.
Article
Full-text available
Researchers, policymakers, and the general public increasingly agree on the importance of subjective well-being as an indicator of individual and societal welfare. A vast literature has emerged over the last twenty years documenting the many variables that influence subjective well-being. The purpose of this study is to quantify the relative importance of these determinants in an attempt to synthesize the main strands in the literature and inform policy formulations. We use in our analysis three years’ worth of data from the Gallup World Poll, including 153 countries and ten geopolitical regions. We estimate the relative importance of four major domains of subjective well-being using a basic model with 25 independent variables, and a broader set of seven domains using an extended model with 60 independent variables. Our results show that material well-being is the main determinant of subjective well-being across all ten geopolitical regions. A particularly strong determinant of subjective well-being in our study is feelings about household income, whereas community functioning, governance and altruistic behaviors have a relatively low importance. Our results suggest that subjective material well-being and its objective determinants, including economic growth and income inequality, should remain at the center of the research and policy agenda. Further research is recommended to ascertain the relative importance of social, physical and purpose well-being.
Chapter
The chapter introduces a distinction between a person-related and a circumstance directed type of happiness in order to investigate in which way modern technology can contribute to human happiness. This distinction is elaborated as the difference between ‘achiever’s happiness’ and ‘spectator’s happiness’. Looking at the ethical tradition, it is argued that moral philosophers have certain expectations about what should count as true happiness for human beings, who can act in accordance with moral values. The essay presents three arguments for the superiority of achiever’s happiness from a moral point of view. Looking at modern technology it is argued that we find both in an optimistic and a pessimistic evaluation of modern technology valuable insights into the role that technology can (and can not) play for the human striving for happiness. Finally persuasive technologies are presented as one type of recent technologies that promises to contribute to achiever’s happiness if developed while taking ethical requirements into account.
Chapter
Findings from the burgeoning study of personal well-being (PWB) are both interesting and important. The study of PWB is beginning to attract the attention of the media, laypersons and public policy practitioners. However, the ways in which PWB findings are prudentially relevant (i.e. related to well-being) are unclear and controversial. This is not a good situation for the study of PWB; in order for such findings to be used effectively and justifiably, we need a prudential framework that is widely acceptable. In this paper, I argue that a widely acceptable account of the prudential relevance of PWB must (at least for the time being) be theory-neutral with regards to the nature of well-being. Theories of well-being are controversial, and thereby not widely acceptable. I provide an account of the prudential relevance of PWB that does not rely on a particular theory of well-being. The theory-neutral account maintains that PWB tends to be (a) an indicator of well-being, (b) a value, and (c) a benefit. This account can provide us with widely acceptable (albeit limited) interpretations of findings from the study of PWB.
Thesis
Full-text available
Obecny model rozwoju, czyli ścieżki osiągania dobrobytu, doprowadził nas do kryzysu klimatyczno-ekologicznego na bezprecedensową skalę. Skutki tego kryzysu odczuwane są także w Polsce, szczególnie dotkliwie za sprawą smogu. Na gruncie ekonomii podejmowane są próby silniejszego włączenia środowiska naturalnego do koncepcji rozwoju, równolegle rozwijają się ujęcia dobrobytu alternatywne wobec tradycyjnych mierników dochodu. Jednak badania nad korelatami poszerzonego ujęcia dobrobytu rzadko biorą pod uwagę czynniki ze sfery środowiskowej. Niniejsza praca wpisuje się w tę lukę, dążąc do zbadania związku między różnie ujmowanym dobrobytem a przestrzennie określonymi środowiskowymi efektami zewnętrznymi rozwoju, na przykładzie zanieczyszczenia powietrza w regionie metropolitalnym Warszawy. Umiejscowienie analizy na poziomie lokalnym osadza problem kosztów środowiskowych w kontekście przemian przestrzennych miasta i wsi, w tym zwłaszcza suburbanizacji. Badanie rozpoczynam od usystematyzowania roli środowiska w trzech ujęciach dobrobytu, tj. ekonomicznym, społecznym oraz subiektywnym. Pozwala to zidentyfikować koncepcje i teorie opisujące oczekiwaną relację danego ujęcia dobrobytu z degradacją środowiska, tj. hipotezę Środowiskowej Krzywej Kuznetsa, koncepcję sprawiedliwości ekologicznej oraz dorobek ekonomii szczęścia. Drugim fundamentem badania jest kompleksowa analiza zanieczyszczenia powietrza – w oparciu o schemat DPSIR uzasadniam, że jest to kluczowe wyzwanie cywilizacyjne dla Polski, mające charakter problemu splątanego. W części empirycznej badania opieram się na zaawansowanych technikach statystycznych, by prześledzić kształt relacji między zanieczyszczeniem powietrza i poszczególnymi ujęciami dobrobytu. Wykorzystując model regresji przestrzennej wskazuję, że na szczeblu gmin woj. mazowieckiego wzrost dobrobytu społecznego i ekonomicznego napędza zanieczyszczenie powietrza, choć w przypadku miary ekonomicznego dobrobytu rysuje się próg, powyżej którego ten negatywny wpływ zanika. Na tle badanego regionu zaznacza się relatywnie korzystna pozycja strefy pery-miejskiej, potwierdzając znaczenie walorów środowiska dla suburbanizacji. W dalszej części, wykorzystując autorskie badanie zrealizowane w Warszawie wykazuję negatywny wpływ krótkookresowych wahań poziomu zanieczyszczenia powietrza oraz postrzeganej jakości powietrza na deklarowane przez respondentów zadowolenie z życia. Uzyskane wyniki potwierdzają, że zależnie od przyjętego modelu dobrobytu, różne będą konsekwencje rozwoju dla środowiska. W kontekście wyzwania zrównoważonego rozwoju, szczególne znaczenie zyskuje subiektywna koncepcja dobrobytu. Pozwala ona bowiem przełamać dotychczasową separację sfery społecznej i środowiskowej, wykazując, jak degradacja środowiska – faktyczna i postrzegana – umniejsza poziom odczuwanego dobrobytu.
Article
Full-text available
Aims Our aim was to develop a short generic measure of subjective well-being for routine use in patient-centred care and healthcare quality improvement alongside other patient-reported outcome and experience measures. Methods The Personal Wellbeing Score (PWS) is based on the Office of National Statistics (ONS) four subjective well-being questions (ONS4) and thresholds. PWS is short, easy to use and has the same look and feel as other measures in the same family of measures. Word length and reading age were compared with eight other measures. Anonymous data sets from five social prescribing projects were analysed. Internal structure was examined using distributions, intra-item correlations, Cronbach’s α and exploratory factor analysis. Construct validity was assessed based on hypothesised associations with health status, health confidence, patient experience, age, gender and number of medications taken. Scores on referral and after referral were used to assess responsiveness. Results Differences between PWS and ONS4 include brevity (42 vs 114 words), reading age (9 vs 12 years), response options (4 vs 11), positive wording throughout and a summary score. 1299 responses (60% female, average age 81 years) from people referred to social prescribing services were analysed; missing values were less than 2%. PWS showed good internal reliability (Cronbach’s α=0.90). Exploratory factor analysis suggested that all PWS items relate to a single dimension. PWS summary scores correlate positively with health confidence (r=0.60), health status (r=0.58), patient experience (r=0.30) and age group (r=0.24). PWS is responsive to social prescribing intervention. Conclusions The PWS is a short variant of ONS4. It is easy to use with good psychometric properties, suitable for routine use in quality improvement and health services research.
Chapter
Die technologische Entwicklung fördert die Lebensqualität, kann sie aber auch gefährden. Das zeigen die Utopien und Dystopien, Hoffnungen und Ängste, die mit der maschinellen Intelligenz verbunden werden. Die Beispiele in Kap. 1 belegen, dass die digitalen Dienste viele Bedürfnisse des Menschen erfüllen, allerdings auch, dass sich die Mechanismen der Evolution gegen die Lebensqualität des Menschen wenden können. Das gilt auch umgekehrt: Zufriedenheit ist ein Feind des Fortschritts, Unzufriedenheit treibt die Entwicklung. Die Entwicklung kann aber nur gestalten, wer sie anführt. Daher ist hier zu prüfen, wie wir die soziotechnische Evolution und die Steigerung der Lebensqualität verbinden können, also die Evolution gestalten und gleichzeitig ihre Gefahren für die Lebensqualität abwenden sowie die Chancen nutzen.
Article
Since the early 1990s, the “activation turn” has become a standard welfare orthodoxy at the heart of international welfare systems. Although policymakers talk confidently about the well‐being gains of activation interventions and their employment outcomes, a growing body of research has focused instead on questions around “activation process well‐being”—the potential well‐being effects of participation in activation programmes themselves. The present article makes three main contributions to the theory, knowledge, and policy practice of this activation well‐being literature. First, the paper develops an original conceptual framework that newly connects well‐being theory, qualitative variation in programmatic form, and empirically testable well‐being expectations for participating service users. Second, the paper uses multivariate statistical analyses to examine six conceptually derived hypotheses around variation in programme forms and implications for participating service users' well‐being, drawing on the case study of U.K. activation policy. Noteworthy is the paper's unique distributional insights into well‐being effects across different types of service users. Third, the paper offers new policy contributions around the relevance of policy form to service user well‐being as well as important pointers to key programme features in this regard.
Article
Background Loneliness is significantly related to health and wellbeing. However, there is little information on the prevalence of loneliness among people with disability or the association between disability, loneliness and wellbeing. Objective/Hypothesis For a nationally representative sample of adults (age 16-64) with/without disability, to examine exposure to three indicators of low social connectedness (loneliness, low perceived social support, social isolation), and to evaluate the association between low social connectedness and wellbeing. To test whether disability status moderated the relationship between low social connectedness and wellbeing. Methods Secondary analysis of data from three annual rounds of the cross-sectional English Community Life Survey (CLS) 2016-19. Results People with disability experienced loneliness, low perceived social support and social isolation at significantly higher rates than people without disability. Effect sizes were significantly greater for loneliness. Disability was associated with lower wellbeing. With one exception, low social connectedness was associated with lower wellbeing. Again, effect sizes were significantly greater for loneliness. The prevalence of loneliness was highest among adults with disability who were younger, economically inactive, living in rented or other accommodation, living alone and with low levels of access to environmental assets. There was no evidence that disability status moderated the association between exposure to low social connectedness and low wellbeing. Conclusions Loneliness was a particularly significant driver of poor wellbeing among people with disability. The relative independence between different indicators of social connectedness suggests that interventions to reduce loneliness will need to do more than simply increase rates of social contact or social support.
Article
There is a growing body of scientific evidence that demonstrates a negative relationship between commuting and wellbeing. However, many of the existing studies have some limitations with respect to geographical scope, the control variables included, or the operationalisation of either wellbeing or commuting. In this contribution, we consider weekly commuting hours (WCH) per employed individual. Furthermore, we combined 13 variables on physical condition, weariness, and mental condition in a new index for wellbeing. Thanks to the data from the large-scale European Working Conditions Survey from 2015, we were able to cover 35 European countries. A multilevel multiple linear regression model was developed with control variables for factors with a known influence on wellbeing, random intercepts per country, and random slopes for the estimated WCH effect per country. Our results confirm that more time spent on commuting is negatively associated with wellbeing, although the effect size of WCH on wellbeing is relatively small when compared to ageing, education level, frequently working overtime, and experiencing harassment or discrimination at work. The multilevel approach reveals relevant differences between European countries with respect to the general level of wellbeing and the effect of WCH. Nevertheless, in all the countries included in our analysis the relationship between WCH and wellbeing is slightly negative.
Article
Full-text available
Poverty, poor housing and poor health are complexly interconnected in a cycle that has proven resistant to intervention by housing providers or policy makers. Research often focuses on the impacts of the physical housing defects, particularly upon rates of (physical) illness and disease. There has been comparatively little research into the ways in which housing services can underpin the generation of positive health and, especially, wellbeing. Drawing on qualitative data from 75 tenants in the social and private rented sectors, this paper describes the findings of a research project that tracked tenants’ experiences across their first year in a new tenancy in Greater Glasgow, Scotland. The project collected data on tenants’ perceptions of housing and housing service quality, financial coping and health and wellbeing, which was analysed using the principles of Realist Evaluation to elucidate impacts and causal pathways. Being able to establish a sense of home was key to tenants’ wellbeing. The home provided many tenants with a recuperative space in which to shelter from daily stressors and was a source of autonomy and social status. A sense of home was underpinned by aspects of the housing service, property quality and affordability which are potentially amenable to intervention by housing providers. These findings raise questions about the extent to which social housing providers and the private rental market in the UK are able to meet the needs of vulnerable tenants. They suggest that approaches to housing provision that go beyond providing a basic dwelling are needed to successfully intervene in the cycle of poverty, poor housing and poor health.
Article
Full-text available
With the passage of time, celluloid film degrades and valuable film history is lost, resulting in loss of cultural history which contributes to the shared sense of community, identify, and place at a local and national level. Despite the growth in digitised services for accessing cultural resources, to date no economic valuation has been performed on digital local history resources which are accessible online. Despite the recent emergence of online portals for digital cultural services in many countries (such as virtual tours of art galleries and digitisation of cultural archives) a shift which has accelerated in response to the Covid-19 epidemic, there remains a major literature gap around the value of digital culture. Failure to account for the value of digital archives risks sub-optimal allocation of resources to accessing and preserving these aspects of local cultural history. In response, we performed the first contingent valuation study to estimate willingness to pay for a free online film archive portal containing historical film footage for localities throughout the United Kingdom. Users were willing to pay an average hypothetical subscription for digital archive film services of £38.52/annum. Non-users in the general population were asked their willingness to pay a hypothetical annual donation to maintain free public access (£4.68/annum on average). The results suggest that positive social value is gained from online access to digital archive film, and from knowing that the cultural heritage continues to be digitally accessible by the public for current and future generations. We outline how this evidence aligns with a theoretical framework of use and non-use value for digital goods and services extending beyond those who currently use the portal, to those introduced to it, and those in the general public who have never directly experienced the online archive service. We also report what we believe is the first application of Subjective Wellbeing analysis to engagement with a digital cultural service. The advantage of applying methods from economics to value cultural activities in monetary terms is that it makes emerging modes of digital cultural goods and services commensurable with other costs and benefits as applied to cultural policy and investment decisions, putting it on a level footing with physical cultural assets.
Article
Full-text available
This article examines the relationship between commuting to work and personal well-being using regression analysis. It identifies how time spent commuting and method of travel affect life satisfaction, a sense that our daily activities are worthwhile, and levels of happiness and anxiety.
Article
Full-text available
W. Wilson's (1967) review of the area of subjective well-being (SWB) advanced several conclusions regarding those who report high levels of "happiness." A number of his conclusions have been overturned: youth and modest aspirations no longer are seen as prerequisites of SWB. E. Diener's (1984) review placed greater emphasis on theories that stressed psychological factors. In the current article, the authors review current evidence for Wilson's conclusions and discuss modern theories of SWB that stress dispositional influences, adaptation, goals, and coping strategies. The next steps in the evolution of the field are to comprehend the interaction of psychological factors with life circumstances in producing SWB, to understand the causal pathways leading to happiness, understand the processes underlying adaptation to events, and develop theories that explain why certain variables differentially influence the different components of SWB (life satisfaction, pleasant affect, and unpleasant affect). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
The majority of modelling studies on consequences of internal migration focus almost exclusively on the labour market outcomes and the material well-being of migrants. We investigate whether individuals who migrate within the UK become happier after the move than they were before it and whether the effect is permanent or transient. Using life satisfaction responses from 12 waves of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and employing a fixed-effects model, we derive a temporal pattern of migrants' subjective well-being (SWB) around the time of the migration event. Our findings make an original contribution by revealing for the first time that, on average, migration is preceded by a period when individuals experience a significant decline in happiness. The boost that is received through migration appears to bring people back to their initial level of happiness. As opposed to labour market outcomes of migration, SWB outcomes do not differ significantly between men and women. Perhaps surprisingly, long-distance migrants are at least as happy as short-distance migrants despite the higher social costs that are involved.
Article
Full-text available
This article uses seven waves of panel data to test for social norms in labor market status. The unemployed's well-being is shown to be strongly positively correlated with reference group unemployment (at the regional, partner, or household level). This result, far stronger for men, is robust to controls for unobserved individual heterogeneity. Panel data also show that those whose well-being fell the most on entering unemployment are less likely to remain unemployed. These findings suggest a psychological explanation of both unemployment polarization and hysteresis, based on the utility effects of a changing employment norm in the reference group.
Article
Full-text available
This meta-analysis used 9 literature search strategies to examine 137 distinct personality constructs as correlates of subjective well-being (SWB). Personality was found to be equally predictive of life satisfaction, happiness, and positive affect, but significantly less predictive of negative affect. The traits most closely associated with SWB were repressive-defensiveness, trust, emotional stability, locus of control-chance, desire for control, hardiness, positive affectivity, private collective self-esteem, and tension. When personality traits were grouped according to the Big Five factors, Neuroticism was the strongest predictor of life satisfaction, happiness, and negative affect. Positive affect was predicted equally well by Extraversion and Agreeableness. The relative importance of personality for predicting SWB, how personality might influence SWB, and limitations of the present review are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
Subjective well-being (SWB), people's emotional and cognitive evaluations of their lives, includes what lay people call happiness, peace, fulfillment, and life satisfaction. Personality dispositions such as extraversion, neuroticism, and self-esteem can markedly influence levels of SWB. Although personality can explain a significant amount of the variability in SWB, life circumstances also influence long-term levels. Cultural variables explain differences in mean levels of SWB and appear to be due to objective factors such as wealth, to norms dictating appropriate feelings and how important SWB is considered to be, and to the relative approach versus avoidance tendencies of societies. Culture can also moderate which variables most influence SWB. Although it is challenging to assess SWB across societies, the measures have some degree of cross-cultural validity. Although nations can be evaluated by their levels of SWB, there are still many open questions in this area.
Article
Full-text available
The paper studies job satisfaction levels in the advanced nations. There are five main findings. First, the great majority of workers in the industrial democracies appear to be remarkably content with their jobs. The old Dickensian idea that work subjugates people is apparently not supported by the data. Second, job satisfaction is slowly trending down over time in the United States (among the over-30s, from approximately 56% very satisfied in the 1970s to 48% by the mid 1990s). Third, we show this fall is not explained by the decline of unions, nor by, as we document, the existence of a slowly growing job-insecurity in the US. Fourth, the cross-section patterns in job satisfaction are similar from one nation to another. Reported wellbeing is higher among women, the self-employed, the young and the old (not the middle-aged), supervisors, and particularly those with secure jobs. Fifth, after controlling for personal characteristics, we produce a ranking of job satisfaction across nations. Satisfaction is highest in one of the poorest countries in our sample, Ireland, and lowest in the Mediterranean nations. These findings raise many puzzles. It seems we are a long way from a full understanding of well-being at work.
Article
This paper uses data from the Gallup World Poll to explore the determinants of subjective well-being. The paper builds on the existing literature on the determinants of subjective well-being in three areas. First, the paper systematically examines the drivers of measures of affect as well as the determinants of life satisfaction that are more prevalent in the existing literature. Overall, items relating to health status, personal security, and freedom to choose what to do with one’s life appear to have a larger impact on affect balance when compared to life satisfaction, while economic factors such as income and unemployment have a more limited impact. The second part of the paper considers the degree to which there is heterogeneity in the weights assigned by different population sub-groups to the different determinants of subjective well-being. Relatively small differences are found between men and women, but priorities change significantly over the life course. Finally, the paper uses OECD data on the labour market and health policy regimes in different countries to test for the impact of these policy regimes on subjective well-being. Significant results are found for the replacement rate for unemployment assistance, employment protection legislation, and the extent of health co-payments. Although these results are tentative, they suggest that looking for the impact of policy changes on subjective well-being in large cross-country datasets is a promising area for research.Quels sont les facteurs qui influent sur notre qualité de vie ? : Les déterminants du bien-être subjectif dans les pays de l'OCDE - Données extraites de l'enquête Gallup World PollFondé sur des données issues de l’enquête Gallup World Poll, ce rapport analyse les déterminants du bien-être subjectif. Il est en outre étayé par les travaux antérieurs menés sur les facteurs du bien-être subjectif dans trois domaines. Tout d’abord, l’étude passe systématiquement en revue les caractéristiques des mesures relatives aux ressentis, ainsi que les critères qui déterminent la satisfaction à l’égard de la vie, qui sont plus répandus dans les publications existantes. Dans l’ensemble, les facteurs relatifs à l’état de santé, à la sécurité des personnes et à la liberté qu’ont les individus de choisir la vie qu’ils veulent mener semblent peser plus lourd dans la balance entre ressentis négatifs et ressentis positifs que la satisfaction à l’égard de l’existence, tandis que les facteurs économiques, comme le revenu et le chômage, ont une influence plus limitée. La deuxième partie du rapport examine dans quelle mesure l’importance accordée aux différents déterminants du bien-être subjectif varie en fonction des catégories de population. Si les écarts observés entre hommes et femmes sont relativement limités, il ressort que les priorités ne cessent d’évoluer tout au long de la vie. Enfin, le rapport s’appuie sur les données de l’OCDE relatives aux politiques nationales du marché du travail et de la santé pour évaluer l’impact de l’action publique sur le bien-être subjectif. Il semble que le taux de remplacement de l’assistance-chômage, la législation sur la protection de l’emploi et le niveau de participation des assurés sociaux au coût des soins jouent un rôle majeur. S’ils restent indicatifs, ces résultats donnent néanmoins à penser que l’étude de l’impact des réformes sur le bien-être subjectif dans les grandes séries de données internationales constitue un axe de recherche prometteur.
Article
Discusses the field of subjective well-being (SWB) and its use in exploring the conditions under which personality traits are likely to be important. Because of the strong influence of traits on SWB and a resurgence of interest in the "Big Five" system of traits, the area offers an object lesson in the pitfalls of a personality psychology that relies exclusively on trait constructs. It is shown that even when traits offer strong predictions, they do not offer a complete account of psychological phenomena. It is concluded, however, that traits can be very important organizing structures with which to initially classify and understand some important phenomena of psychology. Scientific understanding based on traits must be augmented by a process orientation and a study of relevant situational factors in order for the field of personality to remain an intellectually vigorous science. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
There is increasing interest in the “economics of happiness”, reflected by the number of articles that are appearing in mainstream economics journals that consider subjective well-being (SWB) and its determinants. This paper provides a detailed review of this literature. It focuses on papers that have been published in economics journals since 1990, as well as some key reviews in psychology and important unpublished working papers. The evidence suggests that poor health, separation, unemployment and lack of social contact are all strongly negatively associated with SWB. However, the review highlights a range of problems in drawing firm conclusions about the causes of SWB; these include some contradictory evidence, concerns over the impact on the findings of potentially unobserved variables and the lack of certainty on the direction of causality. We should be able to address some of these problems as more panel data become available.
Article
One area of positive psychology analyzes subjective well-being (SWB), people's cognitive and affective evaluations of their lives. Progress has been made in understanding the components of SWB, the importance of adaptation and goals to feelings of well-being, the temperament underpinnings of SWB, and the cultural influences on well-being. Representative selection of respondents, naturalistic experience sampling measures, and other methodological refinements are now used to study SWB and could be used to produce national indicators of happiness.
Article
Psychologists and sociologists usually interpret happiness scores as cardinal and comparable across respondents, and thus run OLS regressions on happiness and changes in happiness. Economists usually assume only ordinality and have mainly used ordered latent response models, thereby not taking satisfactory account of fixed individual traits. We address this problem by developing a conditional estimator for the fixed-effect ordered logit model. We find that assuming ordinality or cardinality of happiness scores makes little difference, whilst allowing for fixed-effects does change results substantially. We call for more research into the determinants of the personality traits making up these fixed-effects. Copyright 2004 Royal Economic Society.
Green Spaces May Boost Well-being for City Slickers
  • I Alcock
  • B Wheeler
  • M Depledge
Alcock, I., Wheeler, B., Depledge, M. (2013). 'Green Spaces May Boost Well-being for City Slickers', Association for Psychological Science, Press Release April 22, 2013
The Determinants of Subjective Wellbeing in New Zealand: An Empirical Look at New Zealand's Social Welfare Function', New Zealand Association of Economists Conference
  • D Brown
  • C Smith
  • J Woolf
Brown, D., Smith, C. and Woolf J. (2010), 'The Determinants of Subjective Wellbeing in New Zealand: An Empirical Look at New Zealand's Social Welfare Function', New Zealand Association of Economists Conference 2010, Statistics New Zealand
Internet, mail, and mixed-mode surveys: The tailored design method
  • D A Dillman
  • J D Smyth
  • L M Christian
Dillman, D. A., Smyth, J. D., & Christian, L. M. (2009). 'Internet, mail, and mixed-mode surveys: The tailored design method'. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley