Social Indicators Research

, Volume 136, Issue 2, pp 775–805 | Cite as

Preferences for Well-Being and Life Satisfaction

  • Leonardo BecchettiEmail author
  • Pierluigi Conzo


We test whether preferences over different well-being domains significantly correlate with life satisfaction. A sample of respondents is asked to simulate a policymaker decision consisting in allocating hypothetical financial resources among 11 well-being domains. We find that the willingness to invest more in the economic well-being domain is negatively correlated with life satisfaction. We argument that this evidence, while not excluding other rationales, is consistent with the utility misprediction hypothesis suggesting that individuals make systematic errors in estimating the well-being implied from their choices. Subsample estimates document that the less educated are more affected by the problem.


Life satisfaction Well-being preferences Utility misprediction Subjective well-being 



The paper is part of a research coordinated by Laboratorio RicercAzione from Formazione Quadri Terzo Settore and sponsored by Fondazione con il Sud. The authors thank all the scientific board of FQTS, ISTAT and Fondazione con il Sud for their support, Stefano Bartolini, Tommaso Proietti and Maurizio Pugno for comments and suggestions, Sante Orsini, Roberto Porciello, Fabiola Riccardini and Focusmarketing for their precious coordination and research assistance in building the online survey and providing relevant data. Finally we thank the newspapers Messaggero, Avvenire and Unità for hosting the survey.

Supplementary material

11205_2017_1566_MOESM1_ESM.docx (257 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 257 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of Rome “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly
  2. 2.CSEFNaples (Italy) & Collegio Carlo AlbertoTurinItaly
  3. 3.Department of Economics and Statistics “Cognetti de Martiis”University of TurinTurinItaly

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