How well a nation combines a high level of happiness with an equitable distribution of happiness.
According to the utilitarian creed, the quality of a society should be judged using the degree of happiness of its members, the best society being the one that provides the greatest happiness for the greatest number. Following the egalitarian principle, the quality of a society should be judged by the disparity in happiness among citizens, a society being better if differences in happiness are smaller. Performance on these standards can be measured using cross-national surveys, where degree of happiness is measured using the mean response to a question about happiness and disparity is expressed as the standard deviation of responses.
These measures are married together in an index called the “inequality-adjusted happiness” (IAH) that gives equal weight to either criterion. It is a linear combination of the mean happiness value and the standard deviation in a...
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Kalmijn, W.M. & Veenhoven, R. (2013) Index of inequality adjusted happiness (IAH) improved. Available at: http://www.eur.nl/fsw/research/veenhoven/Pub2010s/2012t-full.pdf
Veenhoven, R., & Kalmijn, W. M. (2005). Inequality-adjusted happiness in nations. Egalitarianism and utilitarianism married together in a new index of societal performance. Journal of Happiness Studies, 6, 421–455.
Veenhoven, R. (2012a) Inequality-adjusted happiness (IAH) in 148 nations 2000–2009, World Database of Happiness, Erasmus university Rotterdam, Netherlands. Available at: http://worlddatabaseofhappiness.eur.nl/hap_nat/findingreports/TrendReport_InequalityAdjustedHappiness.php
Veenhoven, R. (2012b). Trend inequality-adjusted happiness in nations 1946–2010, World Database of Happiness, Erasmus university Rotterdam, Netherlands. Available at: http://worlddatabaseofhappiness.eur.nl/hap_nat/findingreports/RankReport_InequalityAdjustedHappiness.php
Editors and Affiliations
Rights and permissions
© 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
About this entry
Cite this entry
Veenhoven, R. (2014). Inequality-Adjusted Happiness. In: Michalos, A.C. (eds) Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_1462
Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht
Print ISBN: 978-94-007-0752-8
Online ISBN: 978-94-007-0753-5
eBook Packages: Humanities, Social Sciences and LawReference Module Humanities and Social Sciences