Measuring the Subjective Well-Being of NationsNational Accounts of Time Use and Well-Being

Measuring the Subjective Well-Being of NationsNational Accounts of Time Use and Well-Being

Alan B. Krueger

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226454566

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

Surely everyone wants to know the source of happiness, and indeed, economists and social scientists are increasingly interested in the study and effects of subjective well-being. Putting forward a rigorous method and new data for measuring, comparing, and analyzing the relationship between well-being and the way people spend their time—across countries, demographic groups, and history—this book aims to help set the agenda of research and policy for decades to come. It does so by introducing a system of National Time Accounting (NTA), which relies on individuals' own evaluations of their emotional experiences during various uses of time, a distinct departure from subjective measures such as life satisfaction and objective measures such as the Gross Domestic Product. The chapters here summarize the NTA method, provide illustrative findings about well-being based on NTA, and subject the approach to a rigorous conceptual and methodological critique that advances the field.