June 1, 2013
Being able to measure people’s quality of life is fundamental when assessing the progress of societies. There is now widespread acknowledgement that measuring subjective well-being is an essential part of measuring quality of life alongside other social and economic dimensions. As a first step to improving the measures of quality of life, the OECD has produced Guidelines which provide advice on the collection and use of measures of subjective well-being. These Guidelines have been produced as part of the OECD Better Life Initiative, a pioneering project launched in 2011, with the objective to measure society’s progress across eleven domains of well-being, ranging from jobs, health and housing, through to civic engagement and the environment.
These Guidelines represent the first attempt to provide international recommendations on collecting, publishing, and analysing subjective well-being data. They provide guidance on collecting information on people's evaluations and experiences of life, as well as on collecting “eudaimonic” measures of psychological well-being. The Guidelines also outline why measures of subjective well-being are relevant for monitoring and policy making, and why national statistical agencies have a critical role to play in enhancing the usefulness of existing measures. They identify the best approaches for measuring, in a reliable and consistent way, the various dimensions of subjective well-being, and provide guidance for reporting on such measures. The Guidelines also include a number of prototype survey modules on subjective well-being that national and international agencies can use in their surveys.
Contents: Overview and recommendations -- Introduction -- 1. Concept and validity -- 2. Methodological considerations in the measurement of subjective well-being -- 3. Measuring subjective well-being -- 4. Output and analysis of subjective well-being measures -- Annex A. Illustrative examples of subjective well-being measures -- Annex B. Question modules.
Chapter 1 references Pudney, S. (2010) 'An experimental analysis of the impact of survey design on measures and models of subjective wellbeing', ISER Working Paper Series, No. 2010-20, Colchester: University of Essex: Institute for Social and Economic Research.
Chapter 2 references Pudney, S. (2010) 'An experimental analysis of the impact of survey design on measures and models of subjective wellbeing', ISER Working Paper Series, No. 2010-20, Colchester: University of Essex: Institute for Social and Economic Research.
Chapter 2 references Conti, G. and Pudney, S. (2011), “Survey Design and the Analysis of Satisfaction”, The Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 93, No. 3, pp. 1087-1093.
Chapter 2 references Jäckle, A., Roberts, C. and Lynn, P. (2006), “Telephone versus face-to-face interviewing: mode effects on data quality and likely causes. Report on Phase II of the ESS-Gallup Mixed Mode Methodology Project, ISER Working Paper Series, No. 2006-41, Colchester: University of Essex: Institute for Social and Economic Research.