Using wellbeing for public policy: Theory, measurement, and recommendations
Keywords:well-being, public policy, measurement, positive psychology
Indicators of social progress are the primary drivers of public policy. If existing economic measures of prosperity are complemented with wellbeing metrics that better capture changes in individuals’ quality of life, decision makers will be better informed to assess and design policy. The science of wellbeing has yielded extensive knowledge and measurement instruments during more than three decades. We review the existing wellbeing literature and answer three questions: (1) What is wellbeing? (2) How do we measure wellbeing? And, importantly, distinguishing this review from previous ones, (3) How do we use wellbeing metrics to assess and design policy? We suggest that the science of wellbeing is empirically mature enough to complement economic assessments of national progress. We build on existing work to provide recommendations on metrics and new, specific policies for societal wellbeing.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. The license prevents others from using the work for profit without the express consent of the author(s). The license also prevents the creation of derivative works without the express consent of the author(s). Note that derivative works are very similar in nature to the original. Merely quoting (and appropriately referencing) a passage of a work is not making a derivative of it.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).