Contributors: Krauss, Alexander, Dr. (World Bank)
Scientific paper contribution: Subjective wellbeing in Colombia
Abstract: A burgeoning literature explores the extent to which consumption or income inadequately reflect people’s subjective wellbeing, just as GDP at times can provide an incomplete and misleading picture of national wellbeing. The paper builds on the present research but it analyzes a much broader, more interdisciplinary, and more policy-relevant range of potential determinants simultaneously than currently existing in the literature on subjective wellbeing. It assesses the marginal effects of a number of factors on perceived changes in levels of subjective wellbeing over time for the same respondents in Colombia from 2008/09 to 2010/11. Findings show that increasing the quality of life of Colombians is largely conditional on minimizing risks and vulnerabilities: reducing the rate and duration of unemployment; improving the delivery of public health services; increasing the share of people with health and pension plans; and reducing levels of discrimination. Policy aimed at improving people’s subjective wellbeing will likely have the greatest impact if focused on mitigating vulnerabilities and negative shocks that people face.