A cross-country analysis of perceived economic status and life satisfaction in high- and low-income countries

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What are the challenges posed by the analysis of self-reported life satisfaction and material wellbeing/hardship? We explore the complex relationship between objective and subjective indicators using primary data from two diverse sources—a questionnaire survey of 3883 undergraduate students in eight economically developed and developing countries and interviews with 310 adults in the Dominican Republic. Our findings underline the value of subjective data; at the same time, they stress the importance for development researchers of gaining a deeper understanding of what subjective data really tell us, alongside the need for a richer conceptualization of individual emotions and states of mind.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-223
Number of pages12
JournalWorld Development
Early online date26 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

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