Human Welfare: Can We Trust What They Say?
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Scientific literature is rich in the discussions about social and economic welfare. A number of studies on the relationship between subjective well-being and various economic and social indicators have been carried out over the last decade. Reliability and validity of survey-generated data are very important factors in this type of research as they determine credibility of the conclusions. The purpose of this research is to verify whether the data of surveys on population’s life satisfaction is valid. The object of this research is the index of Overall life satisfaction in the European Union announced by the Eurostat. As the index of Overall life satisfaction is available only for 2013, verification of data validity was complemented with the analysis of the index of population’s Satisfaction with financial situation, which strongly correlates with the index of Overall life satisfaction. This approach provided more opportunities to collate and compare the data of different surveys. Collation of the data generated by several interrelated surveys on population’s life satisfaction has disclosed some significant differences in final results. The results of the research lead to the conclusion that the sample data does not represent the real situation of population’s life satisfaction, and this trend is particularly evident in less developed European countries. As a consequence, the index of Overall life satisfaction cannot be considered a good measure for the research in human welfare, and the conclusions concerning the relationship between the indicator of life satisfaction and other relevant indicators cannot be treated as credible.
KeywordsWelfare Life satisfaction Validity Survey Financial situation Reliability
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