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Away from Dissatisfaction, Closer to Well-Being: A Multidimensional Synthetic Measure

Giuseppina Guagnano () and Maria Rita Sebastiani ()
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Giuseppina Guagnano: SAPIENZA University of Rome
Maria Rita Sebastiani: SAPIENZA University of Rome

Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, 2018, vol. 136, issue 3, 977-997

Abstract: Abstract As part of the international debate on methods for measuring the social progress of a population, there has been increasing interest in individual subjective opinions about different aspects of quality of life (elementary indicators). In the literature, many methods have been introduced for producing measures of subjective well-being based on these opinions. Some of these methods aim to construct synthetic measures that allow us to consider all the aspects simultaneously. This topic often requires subjective methodological choices and/or distributional assumptions and, when the opinions are encoded by means of categorical ordinal values, the eventual quantification of the original variables. Here, starting from the Istat multipurpose survey on households’—aspects of daily life, we propose an original method for constructing a global satisfaction index. We introduce a variable based on the joint distribution of all the elementary indicators that is able to express the individual degree of global satisfaction. This approach allows us to maintain the original ordinal data scale and to avoid any aggregation formula. By comparing the observed distribution of the new variable and the theoretical one, which refers to the situation of overall dissatisfaction (all individuals are dissatisfied for every aspect), we propose three indices of global satisfaction. We also implemented two simulation studies that confirms both the efficacy and robustness of our method. We then applied it to measure the global satisfaction degree of the Italian population, using Istat multipurpose survey data for the year 2013.

Keywords: Global satisfaction index; Individual opinions; Subjective well-being (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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