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Determinants of subjective well-being or dimensions of quality of life?

The session "Determinants of subjective well-being or dimensions of quality of life?" will take place within the 6th Conference of the European Survey Research Association (ESRA) on 13th-17th July 2015 in Reykjavik, Iceland. The closing date for submission of paper proposals is 15 January 2015.

The literature distinguishes mainly two approaches to measuring well-being. The first one is adopted by institutions and policy-oriented bodies that adopt multidimensional indexes of quality of life. Such indexes supplement the more commonly used income-based measures of well-being and allow a detailed description of living conditions and an assessment of societies’ progress in achieving citizens’ quality of life.

The second approach considers subjective well-being measured with a single variable, usually life satisfaction or happiness, and investigates its economic and non-economic determinants.

These two approaches treat differently the same set of variables. For example, income or health would be regarded as dimensions of quality of life in the first approach, but they would be seen as determinants of subjective well-being in the second approach.

This session invites analyses of advantages, disadvantages, and implications of the choice between the two approaches to measuring well-being. We invite papers addressing the following and related questions:
(1) Are there any ways to empirically assess the correctness of each of the two approaches? Can we test if a factor should be treated as an outcome (i.e. a dimension of quality of life) or rather as a determinant of subjective well-being?
(2) What is the relationship between the single measure of subjective well-being and the multiple dimensions of quality of life?
(3) Policy-oriented initiatives propose lists of dimensions of quality of life, but do we actually need multiple indicators? How to make sense of multidimensional indexes of well-being?
(4) Which lessons about well-being can we learn by using each of these approaches?


To submit a presentation abstract, go to the url http://www.europeansurveyresearch.org/conference, sign up or log in to your ESRA account, click "Submit a paper abstract" and follow the instructions. You may submit a maximum of two papers on which you are enlisted as presenting author.


European Survey Research Association

The European Survey Research Association has been established to provide coordination in the field of Survey Research in Europe. Through our activities we encourage communication between researchers. Important activities include our biannual conferences on survey research and the publication of a...

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