Happiness and Development

14 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2016


Subjective well-being (SWB) indicators, such as positive and negative emotions, life evaluations, and assessments of having purpose and meaning and life are increasingly used alongside income, employment, and consumption measures to provide a more comprehensive view of human progress. SWB measures have several advantages but also challenges which development scholars and practitioners need to carefully consider before introducing such metrics in the policy arena. This article provides an overview of the SWB approach and offers insights into whether and how SWB measures can inform development theory and practice.

Keywords: development policy, subjective well-being, happiness, measurement

JEL Classification: I31, O10

Suggested Citation

Nikolova, Milena, Happiness and Development. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10088. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2819369

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