Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/124967
Authors: 
Fleurbaey, Marc
Schwandt, Hannes
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers 9450
Abstract: 
In a new survey we ask respondents, after a standard Subjective Well‐Being (SWB) question, if they can think of changes in their lives that would improve their SWB score. If the SWB score is just one argument among others in the respondents' goals in life, they should easily find ways to improve it, at the expense of other dimensions they care about. Our results suggest that close to 90% of the respondents actually seek to maximize their SWB. The life satisfaction question appears the best contender as the "maximand" in the contest, before the ladder‐of‐life question and felt happiness. Among the other goals that people pursue and for which they are willing to sacrifice some of their SWB, the prominent appear to be about their relatives and about their future self.
Subjects: 
subjective well‐being
life satisfaction
happiness
life goals
utility
JEL: 
D03
D60
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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