A major impulse for the study of subjective well-being has been the question how policy affects the distribution of subjective well-being within a country. A natural approach to learning about policy effects is to compare policies across countries and relate these to observed differences in well-being. Most of the work on international comparisons of well-being has been based on global satisfaction measures, like single questions inviting respondents to rate their happiness on a numerical or verbal scale. This work has often produced conflicting findings. More recently, experienced well-being has been proposed as an alternative measure. Both approaches to the measurement of well-being are in principle vulnerable to Differential Item Functioning, particularly when used to compare different countries. We essentially propose providing a laboratory for the development of subjective well-being measures and procedures for making them internationally comparable. This includes a thorough analysis of the properties of the different well-being measures and in particular how anchoring vignettes can be used to improve the comparability of well-being measures across population groups and across countries. To that end we will conduct several experiments in two population representative Internet panels: the American Life Panel (ALP) in the U.S. and the LISS panel in The Netheriands.

Public Health Relevance

There is ample evidence that well-being is related to health outcomes, while subjective well-being is also an important outcome in its own right. A better understanding of how to measure subjective well-being and how alternative measures may lead to different conclusions will aid policy decision making.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Type
Research Program Projects (P01)
Project #
2P01AG008291-18
Application #
8442479
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1-ZIJ-3 (01))
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2013-09-30
Budget End
2014-06-30
Support Year
18
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$136,260
Indirect Cost
$10,332
Name
Rand Corporation
Department
Type
DUNS #
006914071
City
Santa Monica
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
90401
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