Comparing Well-Being Across Nations: Conceptual and Empirical Issues
Oxford handbook of happiness (pp. 448-464). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
30 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2014 Last revised: 20 Apr 2015
Date Written: March 1, 2013
We review the nature of subjective well-being (SWB) measures in existing cross-national datasets in the World Database of Happiness. Sixty-seven percent of SWB data are based on general measures of overall well-being that are cognitive in nature (as opposed to time-inclusive or affective measures). In addition, 70% of the current data on SWB are based on European and North American respondents. Respondents from Asian and African nations are underrepresented. Two major types of cross-national comparisons of SWB data are discussed, followed by a review of the conceptual and methodological issues involved in the analysis of cross-national data.
Keywords: well-being, happiness, satisfaction, cross-national surveys, culture
JEL Classification: I31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation