Social Indicators Research

, Volume 114, Issue 1, pp 105–120 | Cite as

Can Governments Boost People’s Sense of Well-Being? The Impact of Selected Labour Market and Health Policies on Life Satisfaction

  • Romina BoariniEmail author
  • Margherita Comola
  • Femke de Keulenaer
  • Robert Manchin
  • Conal Smith


There is strong evidence that subjective well-being measures capture in a reliable way specific components of well-being that other non-subjective measures miss. The question of whether subjective well-being is policy amenable is however still largely unexplored in the research. This paper sheds some light on this issue, by looking at the impact of selected labour market and health policies on subjective well-being, using well-being data from the Gallup World Poll on the 34 OECD countries. The paper finds that the generosity of unemployment benefits and the strictness employment protection legislation affects positively life satisfaction, while out-of-pocket health expenses significantly reduce subjective well-being.


Happiness Life satisfaction Labour market policy Health policy Subjective well-being 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Romina Boarini
    • 1
    Email author
  • Margherita Comola
    • 2
  • Femke de Keulenaer
    • 3
  • Robert Manchin
    • 3
  • Conal Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.OECDParisFrance
  2. 2.Maison des Sciences ÉconomiquesUniversité Paris 1 Panthéon-SorbonneParisFrance
  3. 3.Gallup EuropeBruxellesBelgium

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