Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2147085
 


 



Beyond Happiness and Satisfaction: Toward Well-Being Indices Based on Stated Preference


Daniel J. Benjamin


Cornell University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Ori Heffetz


Cornell University - S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Miles S. Kimball


University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Nichole Szembrot


Cornell University - Department of Economics

September 2012

NBER Working Paper No. w18374

Abstract:     
This paper proposes foundations and a methodology for survey-based tracking of well-being. First, we develop a theory in which utility depends on “fundamental aspects” of well-being, measurable with surveys. Second, drawing from psychologists, philosophers, and economists, we compile a comprehensive list of such aspects. Third, we demonstrate our proposed method for estimating the aspects’ relative marginal utilities—a necessary input for constructing an individual-level well-being index—by asking ~4,600 U.S. survey respondents to state their preference between pairs of aspect bundles. We estimate high relative marginal utilities not only for happiness and life satisfaction, but also for aspects related to family, health, security, values, and freedoms.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 49

working papers series


Date posted: September 15, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Benjamin, Daniel J. and Heffetz, Ori and Kimball, Miles S. and Szembrot, Nichole, Beyond Happiness and Satisfaction: Toward Well-Being Indices Based on Stated Preference (September 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w18374. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2147085

Contact Information

Daniel J. Benjamin (Contact Author)
Cornell University - Department of Economics ( email )
414 Uris Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-7601
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Ori Heffetz
Cornell University - S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management ( email )
324 Sage Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607.255.4668 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.johnson.cornell.edu/faculty/profiles/heffetz/
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Miles S. Kimball
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics ( email )
611 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
United States
734-764-2375 (Phone)
734-764-2769 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Nichole Szembrot
Cornell University - Department of Economics ( email )
414 Uris Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-7601
United States
Feedback to SSRN


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