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Tuesday 14th July, 14:00 - 15:30 Room: N-131

Survey data in composite indexes of well-being and socio-economic development 1

Convenor Professor Krzysztof Zagorski (Kozminski University )

Session Details

There is a growing interest in composite indexes of well-being and socio-economic development, such as OECD “Better Life Index”, Kingdom of Buthan’s “Gross National Happiness”, UNDP “Human Development Index”, NEF “Happy Planet Index, a bit more recent proposal by Fitoussi, Sen and Stiglitz, Polish ALK “Index of Balanced Socio-Economic Development” etc. All of them are elaborated in a “beyond GDP” paradigm and in a tradition of social indicators research. Some are limited to objective and subjective social conditions only, some other combine social and economic dimensions, using both survey data and social as well as economic statistics. There are several substantive and methodological problems of these indexes, such as ways of selecting particular simple indicators (index components), relevance of objective and subjective indicators (especially those obtained by social surveys), weighting, constructing “middle-level” indexes and analyzing their interrelations, defining “leading” and “lagging” indexes, checking reliability and validity, analyzing the trends, generalizing and interpreting the results, etc. The papers discussing some of these issues or similar problems of integrating subjective and objective survey data with official and other statistical data into more general indexes at international, national or sub-national level are invited. Both methodological and substantive papers may be accepted, but the preference will be given to papers dealing jointly with the methodology of index construction and the interpretation of obtained results.

Paper Details

1. Beyond Satisfaction and Happiness Scales: The Socioemotional Well-Being Index (SEWBI)
Professor Eduardo Bericat (University of Seville)

Social scientists have been studying happiness for more than thirty years, but most of all this empirical research has been carried out using the simplest models of measurement, that is, satisfaction and happiness scales. To improve the scientific study of happiness we need to go beyond these simple, direct, and univariable measures, and create new multidimensional models for measuring the subjective well-being of people. Following the path initiated by Norman M. Bradburn in 1969, and using Tomas Kemper’s and Randall Collins’ sociological theories of emotions, we have created The Socioemotional Well-Being Index (SEWBI), a new multidimensional measurement

2. The European Cultural Activity Index. Theoretical dimensions and methodological challenges
Dr Manuel Herrera-usagre (Andalusian Agency for Healthcare Quality. Department of Sociology. University of Seville)
Dr Ildefonso Marqués-perales (Department of Sociology. University of Seville.)

The cultural and creative sector has been considered one of the most strategic sectors to address some of the most important challenges European societies are facing. Monitoring the cultural activity of European citizens is seen as an essential objective to ensure their well-being. We present the design and results of the European Cultural Activity Index (ECAI) composed by two main dimensions and eight sub-dimensions. Methodological conclusions as well as the countries rank implications and limits will be discuss in the presentation.

3. Towards the Development of a Composite Index for Consumerism
Dr MarÍa Dolores MartÍn-lagos LÓpez (UNIVERSITY OF GRANADA)

This research presents the results of the composite European Consumerism Index (ECI). The goal of the index is to develop a methodological tool to measure the percentage of consumers who currently reflect on the purchasing process and who assert their rights and are concerned about the possible repercussions for society inherent in their act of purchasing. For the analysis of socioeconomic development, the goal is to compare the results of consumption in European countries with several variables, trying to establish whether this index correlates with the economic development of a country or is influenced by other structural values.

4. Evaluations and Predictions of Individual and Social Conditions as Elements of “Index of Balanced Economic and Social Development” (“IBESD”) for Poland
Ms Katarzyna Piotrowska (Kozminski University)
Ms Krzysztof Zagórski (Kozminski University)

Data from systematically conducted survey research can constitute a significant component of composite socio-economic development indexes constructed in “beyond GDP” (but not apart from GDP) paradigm. The Index of Balanced Economic and Social Development (“IBESD”), designed for Poland at Kozminski University, consists of two types of economic indicators (internal and external) and two types of social indicators (current social conditions and those concerning public predictions for the near future). Belonging to the social indicators subjective evaluations of current situation and public expectations are from representative survey research.