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ECONOMICS & SOCIOLOGY


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ISSN 2071-789X

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Quality of life paradox. Well-being ranking of the selected European countries based on hybrid well-being approach

Vol. 13, No 2, 2020

Tomasz Kwarciński

 

Cracow University of Economics,

Cracow, Poland

E-mail: kwarcint@uek.krakow.pl

ORCID 0000-0002-9474-4216

Quality of life paradox. Well-being ranking of the selected European countries based on hybrid well-being approach

 

Paweł Ulman

 

Cracow University of Economics,

Cracow, Poland

E-mail: ulmanp@uek.krakow.pl 

ORCID 0000-0002-1911-8821


 


 

Abstract. The paper aims to measure individual and social hybrid well-being, which takes into account the Quality of Life Paradox and compares the results of the selected European countries by creating a country ranking. The paradox refers to an existing disparity between the real quality of life experienced by people and their subjective state of being happy. The hybrid well-being approach is a philosophically inspired attempt to overcome the weaknesses of both subjective and objective well-being theories. Based on a multidimensional concept of well-being, which follows Sen and Nussbaum’s capability approach, we have applied the fuzzy sets theory to data from the European Quality of Life Survey to calculate the objective well-being of people living in the selected European countries. Then we have measured fittingness of their objective to subjective well-being by the Fitting Index (FI). Finally, we have constructed the countries’ ranking of well-being and compared it to other rankings based on happiness, functionings achievement, and GDP per capita. The analysis shows that the country ranking based on hybrid well-being differs from the one created on the basis of GDP per capita, and it is not perfectly correlated with other rankings. Therefore, this means that the hybrid well-being based ranking may contain additional information as compared to other rankings. The paper also indicates that citizens of wealthier countries, living in relatively high-quality circumstances, do not have a lower level of subjective well-being (happiness) more often than their counterparts from the Eastern European countries.

 

Received: December, 2019

1st Revision: March, 2020

Accepted: June, 2020

 

DOI: 10.14254/2071-789X.2020/13-2/12

JEL ClassificationI31, I39, D63

Keywords: hybrid well-being, capability approach, quality of life, happiness