The Measurement of Regional Growth and Wellbeing

Reference work entry

Abstract

Our understanding of people’s well-being was, until very recently, inferred from observable objective indicators such as their income and education. These measures were then aggregated to generate an average that characterized the city or region. With the growing availability of sample survey data, we now have at our disposal an increasing range of subjective measures of well-being that capture quality of life assessments made by individuals themselves. It is these internal measures of subjective well-being from microdata that are now being widely used throughout the social sciences to study what we call well-being or “happiness.”

Contemporary interest in subjective measures of well-being stems from a wish to supplement market-based criteria such as GDP per capita with other more direct measures of societal well-being. Subjective measures are particularly useful in areas where the distribution of outcomes is not easily identified using other, especially market, criteria. The effect of investment in public infrastructure or the provision of green space or in fostering community networks or in redeveloping neighborhoods can be captured in responses to questions on well-being, preferably over time. These subjective measures, which have been shown to be highly correlated with clinical and other assessments of well-being, are likely to be of particular interest in regional science because of the way changes to places result from, or generate, a range of positive or negative externalities.

Keywords

Life Satisfaction Relative Deprivation Regional Science Spatial Equilibrium Easterlin Paradox 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Andrews FM, Withey SB (1976) Social indicators of wellbeing: American’s perceptions of life quality. Plenum Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Ballas D, Tranmer M (2012) Happy people or happy places? A multilevel modeling approach to the analysis of happiness and wellbeing. Int Reg Sci Rev 35(1):70–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bell AM (2002) Locally interdependent preferences in a general equilibrium environment. J Econ Behav & Organ 47(3):309–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Berry BJL, Okulicz-Kozaryn A (2011) An urban–rural happiness gradient. Urban Geogr 32(6):871–883CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bonini AN (2008) Cross-national variation in individual life satisfaction: effects of national wealth, human development, and environmental conditions. Soc Indic Res 87(2):223–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Campbell A (1981) The sense of wellbeing in America. McGraw Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. Cantril H (1965) The pattern of human concerns. Rutgers University Press, New BrunswickGoogle Scholar
  8. Cheshire PC, Monastiriotis V, Sheppard S (2003) Income inequality and residential segregation: labour market sorting and the demand for positional goods. In: Martin R, Morrison PS (eds) Geographies of labour market inequality. Routledge, London, pp 83–109Google Scholar
  9. Clark WAV, Fossett M (2008) Understanding the social context of the Schelling segregation model. Proc Natl Acad Sci 105(11):4109–4114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Clark WAV, Morrison PS (2012) Socio-spatial mobility and residential sorting: evidence from a large-scale survey. Urban Stud 49(15):3253–3270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Clark WAV, Deurloo MC, Dieleman FM (1984) Housing consumption and residential mobility. Ann Assoc Am Geogr 74(1):29–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Clark A, Etilé F, Postel-Vinay F, Senik C, Van der Straeten K (2005) Heterogeneity in reported wellbeing: evidence from twelve European countries. The Econ J 115:C118–C132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Clark AE, Frijters P, Shields MA (2008) Relative income happiness, and utility: an explanation for the Easterlin paradox and other puzzles. J Econ Lit 46(1):95–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dolan P, Peasgood T, White D (2008) Do we really know what makes us happy? A review of the literature on the factors associated with subjective wellbeing. J Econ Psychol 29(1):94–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Duesenberry JS (1949) Income, saving and the theory of consumer behaviour. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MassachusettsGoogle Scholar
  16. Durlauf SN (1996) A theory of persistent income inequality. J Econ Growth 1:75–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Easterlin R (1974) Does economic growth improve the human lot? Some empirical evidence. In: David PA, Melvin WB (eds) Nations and households in economic growth. Stanford University Press, Palo Alto, pp 89–125Google Scholar
  18. Easterlin RA (2011) Happiness, growth and the life cycle. Oxford University Press for IZA, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  19. Easterlin RA, Zimmermann AC (2008) Life satisfaction and economic conditions in East and West Germany pre- and post-unification. In Working paper SOEP (DIW, Berlin, Germany)Google Scholar
  20. Easterlin RA, Angelescu L, Zweig JS (2011) The impact of modern economic growth on urban–rural differences in subjective wellbeing. World Dev 39(12):2187–2198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ferrer-i-Carbonell A, Frijters P (2004) How important is methodology for the estimates of the determinants of happiness? The Econ J 114(497):641–659CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Frank RH (2005) Positional externalities cause large and preventable welfare losses. Am Econ Rev 95(2):137–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Frey BS, Stutzer A (2002) Happiness and economics: how the economy and institutions affect human well being. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  24. Graham C (2011) The pursuit of happiness: an economy of wellbeing. Brookings Institution Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  25. Helliwell JF (2008) Life satisfaction and the quality of development. Working paper 14507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MACrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Inglehart R, Rabier JR (1986) Aspirations adapt to situations – but why are the Belgians so much happier than the French? In: Andrews FM (ed) Research on the quality of life. Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, pp 1–56Google Scholar
  27. Kahneman D, Krueger AB (2006) Developments in the measurement of subjective wellbeing. J Econ Perspect 20(1):3–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Marans RW, Stimson RJ (2011) Investigating quality of urban life: theory, methods, and empirical research. Springer, London/New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Marmot M (2005) The status syndrome: how social standing affects our health and longevity. Owl Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  30. Merchante AJ, Ortega B (2006) Quality of life and economic convergence across Spanish regions, 1980–2001. Region Stud 40(5):471–483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Morrison PS (2011) Local expressions of subjective wellbeing: the New Zealand experience. Region Stud 45(8):1039–1058CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Okulicz-Kozaryn A (2011) Geography of European life satisfaction. Soc Indic Res 101(3):435–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Oswald AJ (2003) How much do external factors affect well being? Psychologist March 16(3):140–141Google Scholar
  34. Pittau MG, Zelli R, Gelman A (2010) Economic disparities and life satisfaction in European regions. Soc Indic Res 96(2):339–361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Roback J (1982) Wages, rents and the quality of life. J Political Econ 90(6):1257–1278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Royuela V, Artis M (2006) Convergency analysis in terms of quality of life in the urban systems of the Barcelona province, 1991–2000. Region Stud 40(5):485–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Schelling TC (1978) Micromotives and macrobehaviour. Norton, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  38. Stark O, Wang YQ (2005) Towards a theory of self-segregation as a response to relative deprivation: steady-state outcomes of social welfare. In: Bruni L, Porta PL (eds) Economics and happiness: framing the analysis. Oxford University Press, Oxford/New York, pp 223–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Stiglitz JE, Sen A, Fitoussi JP (2009) Report by the commission on the measurement of economic performance and social progress. (The Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress (CMEPSP))Google Scholar
  40. Winkelmann R (2009) Unemployment, social capital, and subjective wellbeing. J Happiness Stud 10(4):421–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Geography, Environment and Earth SciencesVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations