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Income, Health, and Well-Being around the World: Evidence from the Gallup World Poll

Angus Deaton ()

No 1124, Working Papers from Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing.

Abstract: The great promise of surveys in which people report their own level of life satisfaction is that such surveys might provide a straightforward and easily collected measure of individual or national well-being that aggregates over the various components of well-being, such as economic status, health, family circumstances, and even human and political rights. Layard (2005) argues forcefully such measures do indeed achieve this end, providing measures of individual and aggregate happiness that should be the only gauges used to evaluate policy and progress. Such a position is in sharp contrast to the more widely accepted view, associated with Sen (1999), which is that human well-being depends on a range of functions and capabilities that enable people to lead a good life, each of which needs to be directly and objectively measured and which cannot, in general, be aggregated into a single summary measure.

Keywords: Income; health; well-being; Gallup Poll; good life; economic status (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D63 I00 I32 J13 D19 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008-01
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