nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2017‒02‒12
three papers chosen by

  1. Fairness and well-being measurement By FLEURBAEY, Marc; MANIQUET, François
  2. A multistakeholder analysis of BES data: a focus on health in South Tyrol By Andrea Salustri; Federica Viganò
  3. Challenges in Constructing a Survey-Based Well-Being Index By Daniel J. Benjamin; Kristen Cooper; Ori Heffetz; Miles S. Kimball

  1. By: FLEURBAEY, Marc (Princeton University); MANIQUET, François (Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, Belgium)
    Abstract: We assume that economic justice requires resources to be allocated fairly, and we construct individual well-being measures that embody fairness principles in interpersonal comparisons. These measures are required to respect agents’ preferences. Across preferences well-being comparisons are required to depend on comparisons of the bundles of resources consumed by agents. We axiomatically justify two main families of well-being measures reminiscent to the ray utility and money-metric utility functions.
    Keywords: fairness, well-being measure, preferences
    JEL: D63 I32
    Date: 2016–11–22
  2. By: Andrea Salustri (Free University of Bozen); Federica Viganò (Free University of Bozen)
    Abstract: The paper develops a multi-stakeholder wellbeing analysis based on BES data (Benessere Equo e Sostenibile, namely “Equitable and Sustainable Wellbeing”) on Health in South Tyrol, in order to highlight convergences and divergences among four selected classes of agents (citizens, local stakeholders, central administrations and for profit institutions). The statistical analysis is based on data of territorial accounting, the URBES report on the city of Bozen and data collected from the local statistical office (ASTAT) through citizens’ satisfaction surveys. Specifically, we read the available data both in absolute and comparative terms, we analyze an ad hoc selection of subjective indicators on health, and we show the interdependencies among data on well-being and economic development. As a result, we obtain a logical framework that narrows the existing gap between an objective approach – mostly based on institutional indicators – and a subjective approach – based on satisfaction surveys. Furthermore, we propose a dashboard approach that pragmatically lead to a rich and extensive interpretation of the available data on well-being. Finally, we single out the most critical issues regarding the improvement of health conditions in South Tyrol, and we provide ad hoc policy recommendations for each class of decision makers. Due to the high level of standardization, we believe that the exercise developed might be easily replicated for other BES domains and other territories, contributing to move forward the research frontier on well-being in Italy (BES project and related analyses).
    Keywords: Equitable and Sustainable Well-being (BES), Quality of Life, Social Indicators, Beyond GDP, Public Policy
    JEL: I31 R5
    Date: 2017–02
  3. By: Daniel J. Benjamin; Kristen Cooper; Ori Heffetz; Miles S. Kimball
    Abstract: Many in both government and academia are showing renewed interest in developing new measures of national well-being. A new measure that goes “beyond GDP” to comprehensively capture non-market goods could be a useful supplement to traditional economic indicators for guiding policy and more accurately tracking welfare. But how should national well-being be conceptualized in theory? How could it be measured in practice? How could it be constructed in a systematic and politically neutral way? These questions should be approached by economists with the same level of care that has been taken in the theoretical and practical development of GDP. In this short paper, we focus on one conceptual framework (Benjamin, Heffetz, Kimball, and Szembrot, 2014), which uses self-reported responses to subjective well-being (SWB) and stated preference (SP) survey questions to construct an index of well-being. We briefly review the framework and highlight challenges in the first two steps a government agency would need to take before conducting the SWB and SP surveys: (1) formulating a set of aspects of well-being that is theoretically valid and can be measured accurately via surveys; and (2) choosing and interpreting the surveys’ response scales.
    JEL: C43 C83 D11 I31
    Date: 2017–01

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