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Subjective well-being measurement: Current practice and new frontiers

Jessica Mahoney

No 17, OECD Papers on Well-being and Inequalities from OECD Publishing

Abstract: In the ten years since the OECD published its 2013 Guidelines on Measuring Subjective Well-being, the inclusion of evaluative, affective and eudaimonic indicators in national measurement frameworks and household surveys has grown. Country practice has converged around a standard measure of life satisfaction, however affective and eudaimonic measures remain less harmonised. This working paper combines findings from a stock take of OECD member state uptake of Guidelines recommendations with advances in the academic evidence base to highlight three focal areas for future work. Looking ahead, the OECD should prioritise (i) revisiting recommendations on affective indicators, particularly in light of recent OECD recommendations on measuring mental health; (ii) reviewing progress towards operationalising measures of eudaimonia; and (iii) creating new extended modules to measure the subjective well-being of children, to deepen advice on domain-specific life evaluation measures, and to further develop more globally inclusive measures, drawing on (for example) concepts of subjective well-being developed in Indigenous contexts and beyond western European/North American research literatures.

Keywords: happiness; life satisfaction; mental health; subjective well-being (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D91 I31 I38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023-09-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hap, nep-hea and nep-ltv
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