Title: Preferences and subjective satisfaction: measuring well-being on the job for policy evaluation
Authors: Schokkaert, Erik ×
Van Ootegem, Luc
Verhofstadt, Elsy #
Issue Date: Dec-2011
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Series Title: CESifo Economic Studies vol:57 issue:4 pages:683-714
Abstract: Behavioural welfare economics has raised doubts about the use of revealed preferences as an indicator of ‘true’ individual well-being. Subjective satisfaction (‘happiness’) measures have become increasingly popular, as they seem to avoid paternalism while at the same time not being dependent on observed choice behaviour. We argue that there is a clash between using subjective satisfaction and respecting preferences, because the former also depends on aspirations. We propose the equivalent income indicator as an alternative cardinalization of the utility function. It does respect preferences but does not depend on aspirations. We apply our general ideas to one specific policy domain: monitoring job quality as individual well-being on the job. Our empirical results about the quality of jobs for school-leavers in Flanders show that the choice of a specific indicator of well-being is highly relevant from a policy point of view. The most popular measures that are in use now (the paternalist equal weights-indicator and subjective job satisfaction) may be misleading if they are not complemented by information about the other indicators.
ISSN: 1610-241X
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Research Center of Public Economics, Leuven
Centre for Economics and Ethics, Leuven
Research Group Sustainable Development
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

Files in This Item:

There are no files associated with this item.

Request a copy


All items in Lirias are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved.

© Web of science