Social Indicators Research

, Volume 96, Issue 2, pp 183–203 | Cite as

Wants, Needs and Satisfaction: A Comparative Study in Thailand and Bangladesh

  • Laura CamfieldEmail author
  • Monica Guillen-Royo


Within international development greater income is assumed to lead to greater need fulfilment, which increases subjective wellbeing. The Wellbeing in Developing Countries ESRC Research Group’s dataset provides an opportunity to test these relationships using measures of income, expenditure, perceived and ‘objective’ need satisfaction and subjective wellbeing collected in Bangladesh and Thailand. The paper demonstrates that firstly, location and socio-economic status are related to both what people say they need, and the extent to which they feel they have satisfied these needs; secondly, there is a close correlation between objective and subjective need satisfaction, indicating that people’s perceptions of need satisfaction are accurate; and thirdly, there is a significant positive relationship between expenditure on basic need fulfilment and subjective and objective need satisfaction.


Thailand Bangladesh Needs Wants Wellbeing Subjective wellbeing 



The authors acknowledge the intellectual contribution of Alison Woodcock who developed the WeDQoL measure in conjunction with the WeD team. The support of the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is gratefully acknowledged. The work was part of the programme of the ESRC Research Group on Wellbeing in Developing Countries.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International Development-Queen Elizabeth HouseUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.SUMUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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