bienetre2.jpgWell-being can be defined as an individual’s satisfaction with the political, economic,  and societal conditions in whcih he or she lives. Well-being is meaningful for people because it reflects how people perceive the quality of living. Monitoring conditions like housing, employment, and community iis important for public policy.

However, many indicators that measure living conditions fail to measure what people think and feel about their lives, such as the quality of their relationships, the realization of their potential, and their outlook on life. National, as opposed to local, indices of well-being struggle to account for a number of factors :

  • There are often large economic discrepencies from one region to another
  • Who do you sample - different people respond differently to questions about their happiness
  • Local objectives may vary from one city to another
  • People’s evaluation of their own emotions is relative (“hedonic adaptation”) – how can we build an indice that is valid benchmark for public policy