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OECD Guidelines on Measuring Subjective Well-being
OECD Publishing , Publication date:  20 Mar 2013
Pages: 290 , Language: English
Version: E-book (PDF Format)
ISBN: 9789264191655 , OECD Code: 302013031E1
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Other Versions:  Print - Paperback

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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.

Table of contents:

Overview and recommendations
Chapter 1. Concept and validity
-1. Conceptual framework
-2. The quality of subjective well-being measures
-3. The relevance of measures of subjective well-being:Why are they important?
-4. The accuracy of subjective well-being measures
Chapter 2. Methodological considerations in the measurement of subjective well-being
-1. Question construction
-2. Response formats
-3. Question context, placement and order effects
-4. Mode effects and survey context
-5. Response styles and the cultural context
-Overall conclusions and priorities for future work
Chapter 3. Measuring subjective well-being
-1. What to measure? Planning the measurement of subjective well-being
-2. Survey and sample design
-3. Questionnaire design
4. Survey implementation
Chapter 4. Output and analysis of subjective well-being measures
-1. Using subjective well-being to complement other outcome measures
-2. Better understanding the drivers of subjective well-being
-3. Subjective well-being as an input to cost-benefit analysis
Annex A. Illustrative examples of subjective well-being measures
Annex B. Question modules
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