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Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 2167–2189 | Cite as

Valuing Social Relationships and Improved Health Condition Among the Thai Population

  • Worawan Chandoevwit
  • Kannika ThampanishvongEmail author
Research Paper

Abstract

This paper aims to estimate the effects of the extent of social connections or relationships on an individual’s subjective well-being. The study uses the life satisfaction valuation approach, which involves estimation of the life satisfaction equation and the shadow pricing method, to put price tags on or calculate the monetary values of life satisfaction gained through social connections, relationships and health conditions. An individual’s life satisfaction, the extent of the social activities in which he or she is involved, and the individual’s health condition are subjectively measured in the nationwide Survey on Life Satisfaction among Thai people in 2012. We found that the top three social involvements that increase life satisfaction among the Thai people are interacting with neighbours frequently, participating in community religious activities all the time and participating in community cultural activities all the time. Frequencies of social interactions matter to the individual’s level of life satisfaction. An individual with good health condition tends to report a higher level of life satisfaction. Using the shadow pricing method, we found that the shadow price of having frequent face-to-face interaction with neighbours is approximately 0.51 times the monthly per capita income. The value of participating in community religious activities all the time is approximately 0.49 times the average monthly income. The value of participating in community cultural activities all the time is approximately 0.47 times the monthly income. Having good health condition has the largest effect on life satisfaction: a move from having very poor health to having good health is worth approximately 1.05 times the average monthly income.

Keywords

Life satisfaction Shadow pricing Subjective well-being Social relationship Health conditions 

JEL Classification

I30 D60 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We acknowledge support from the Thailand Development Research Institute, the Thailand Health Promotion Foundation, and The Rockefeller Foundation. Chandoevwit thanks the Faculty of Management Science at Khon Kaen University for its research grant.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Esaan Center for Business and Economic Research, Faculty of Management ScienceKhon Kaen UniversityKhon KaenThailand
  2. 2.Thailand Development Research InstituteBangkokThailand

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