Social indicators as predictors of subjective well-being
|Convenor||Mr Nicholas Otis (McGill University )|
As previous research has found, human agency is connected to wellbeing and this relationship is often mediated by other variables for example relationships or health. The current study looks at different indicators of agency in different contexts of family and welfare regimes. Our special focus is on comparing married people with divorced and separated people. Here the role of agency might play a different role depending on the cultural context. For example in liberal context higher agency could lead to more divorce and in conservative context to more sustained marriages.
This paper is dedicated to analyze the impact of trust as the element of social capital on individual subjective well-being. Are trustful people happier than suspicious people? By using data of value research in two federal districts of the Russian Federation, which was conducted by the Centre for Comparative Social Research in summer of 2012, we give the estimate of trust level in Russia. Using the method of structural equation modeling the main hypothesis was tested - is there a positive relationship between the level of trust and subjective life satisfaction.
Numerous studies have examined the impact of income on subjective well-being (SWB) . However, the impact of economic circumstances on SWB is better captured through a combination of income, net worth (wealth), and relative perceptions of economic conditions. Using nationally representative data from China, I find that net worth significantly predicts SWB, exhibiting decreasing marginal returns independent of more common measures of economic circumstances such as income and occupational status. I also find significant positive associations between perceived relative standard of living. These finding emphasize the importance of using complex measures to understand SWB.
A frequent criticism of GDP is that events that obviously reduce welfare can nevertheless increase GDP. We use data for natural disasters around the world as quasi-experiments to, first, re-evaluate the previously conflicting results with respect to (real) GDP (per capita) and, secondly, discuss the question whether alternatives to GDP proposed in the literature lead to more plausible results. We use a difference-in-differences approach and estimates from a panel of countries and find no noteworthy differences between the response of real GDP to a natural disaster and the response of suggested alternative measures.