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Exploring the Meaningfulness and Relevance of Subjective Well-being for India
Daniel Neff
This paper tries to explore the question as to whether subjective well-being (SWB) could enhance or complement the current practice of well-being measurement practice in India. For this purpose, the questions of the definition of SWB, and of the meaningfulness and relevance of SWB as a well-being proxy for India are discussed. It is argued that SWB, defined as life satisfaction, can be regarded as meaningful and relevant in the Indian context. SWB could complement the capability approach or become part of a wider well-being concept. However, it is believed that it is not sufficient to rely on the answer to a single general life satisfaction question, but that there is a need to develop appropriate tools which are culturally sensitive and go beyond the single item question. The paper further provides an exploratory analysis of SWB in India, by using World Value Survey and unique village level data.

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