Dimensions of Quality of Life in Germany: Measured by Plain Text Responses in a Representative Survey (SOEP)

20 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2017

See all articles by Gert G. Wagner

Gert G. Wagner

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); Berlin University of Technology; German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP)

Martin Bruemmer

University of Leipzig

Axel Glemser

Kantar Public

Julia Rohrer

University of Leipzig

Jürgen Schupp

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); Institute for Sociology, Freie Universität; The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract

This paper demonstrates how quality of life can be measured by plain text in a representative survey, the German Socio Economic Panel Study (SOEP). Furthermore, the paper shows that problems that are difficult to monitor, especially problems like the state of the European Union, long-term climate change but also the national debt or problems with the quality of consumer goods (like food) and services (like medical treatment), are not issues of particular importance to the majority of people. Developments and risks that are difficult to monitor and only have long-term effects should be left primarily to the discourse conducted by experts and the politically-minded "elites", the avant garde. And in representative democracies it is ultimately the parliamentarians who must decide. Parliamentarians are likely able to make somewhat better decisions using modern representative surveys and national dialogues than they would be without these instruments of civic participation. Nevertheless, improved civic participation cannot replace parliaments.

Keywords: quality of life, dimensions, open-ended questions, automated text analysis, German Socio Economic Panel Study, SOEP

JEL Classification: B41, C81, C83, C88, D69, I31, Z13

Suggested Citation

Wagner, Gert G. and Bruemmer, Martin and Glemser, Axel and Rohrer, Julia and Schupp, Juergen, Dimensions of Quality of Life in Germany: Measured by Plain Text Responses in a Representative Survey (SOEP). IZA Discussion Paper No. 10521; IZA Discussion Paper No. 10521. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2911459

Gert G. Wagner (Contact Author)

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

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Germany
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+49 30 8 978 9200 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.diw.de/programme/jsp/MA.jsp?language=en&uid=gwagner

Berlin University of Technology ( email )

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Berlin, 10623
Germany
+30 8 978 9283 (Phone)

German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) ( email )

DIW Berlin
10108 Berlin, Berlin
Germany
+49 30 8978 9290 (Phone)
+49 30 8978 9109 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.diw/en/soep

Martin Bruemmer

University of Leipzig

Marschnerstrasse 31
D-04109 Leipzig, 04109
Germany

Axel Glemser

Kantar Public

Rue du Marais 49-53
Brussels, 1000
Belgium

Julia Rohrer

University of Leipzig ( email )

Marschnerstrasse 31
D-04109 Leipzig, 04109
Germany

Juergen Schupp

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, D-10117
Germany
+49 30 8 978 9238 (Phone)
+49 30 8 978 9109 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.diw.de/deutsch/das_institut/mitarbeiter/innen/26652.html?uid=jschupp

Institute for Sociology, Freie Universität ( email )

Garystr. 55
I
Berlin, D-14195
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.polsoz.fu-berlin.de/soziologie/mitarbeiter/b_hochschullehrer/schupp.html

The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/index_html?lang=de&mainframe=http%3A//www.iza.org/de/webcontent/personnel/fellows

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