Special issue on:

Demographic Aspects of Human Wellbeing

(Vol. 19)

Guest editors: Sonja Spitzer, Vanessa Di Lego, Angela Greulich, Raya Muttarak

Managing editor: Maria Winkler-Dworak



Debate


EU and UK targets for healthy life expectancy –are they achievable?


Demography and well-being


WELLBYs, Cost-benefit analyses, and the Easterlin Discount


Research Articles


Going Beyond GDP with a Parsimonious Indicator: Inequality-Adjusted Healthy Lifetime Income

  • David E Bloom, Victoria Y Fan, Vadim Kufenko, Osondu Ogbuoji, Klaus Prettner, Gavin Yamey
    Full text | Details

Global improvements in Years of Good Life since 1950


Gender disparities in health at older ages and their consequences for well-being in Latin America and the Caribbean


Gender and socioeconomic inequalities in health and wellbeing across age in France and Switzerland


The Age U-shape in Europe: The Protective Role of Partnership


Singles in the city: happily ever after?


Fathers’ and mothers’ enjoyment of childcare: the role of multitasking


Well-being in Europe: Decompositions by country and gender for the population aged 50+


The life course and subjective well-being across generations – an analysis based on cross-national surveys (2002–2016)


Academic track mismatch and the temporal development of well-being and competences in German secondary education


Review



Comparing global reports of subjective well-being to experiential measures


Anthropometric history and the measurement of wellbeing


Details & Abstracts


Debate


EU and UK targets for healthy life expectancy – are they achievable?

Carol Jagger (corresponding author), Newcastle University, Population Health Sciences Institute, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
Volume: 19, 2021, pages (tbd - online-first)
Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2021.deb01

cite as:
Jagger, C. 2020. "EU and UK targets for healthy life expectancy – are they achievable?" Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2021 (Volume 19): (tbd - online-first).

first online: 16.07.2020

Abstract:

In 2008, the EU Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP-AHA) set a target of an increase of two healthy life years by 2020. More recently, in 2018, the UK Government set a target to “ensure people can enjoy at least 5 extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035, while narrowing the gap between the experience of the richest and poorest”. This paper reviews the progress the EU member states have made towards meeting this target, and what the UK can learn from their experiences. I conclude that, although the EU target is likely to be reached, the gap in healthy life years between the member states has increased. Past trends in and projections of disability-free life expectancy in England suggest that it will be difficult to achieve an increase of five healthy and independent years of life by 2035.
Keywords: health expectancy; life expectancy; healthy life years; social inequality; European Union

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Demography and well-being

Andrew E. Clark, Paris School of Economics - CNRS, Paris, France

Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
Volume: 19, 2021, pages (tbd - online-first)
Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2021.deb02

cite as:
Clark, A.E. 2021. "Demography and well-being" Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2021 (Volume 19): (tbd - online-first).

first online: 21.01.2021

Abstract:

Demography studies the characteristics of populations. One such characteristic iswell-being: this was the subject of the 2019 Wittgenstein Conference. Here, I discusshow objective well-being domains can be summarised to produce an overall well-being score, and how taking self-reported (subjective) well-being into account mayhelp in this effort. But given that there is more than one type of subjective well-being score, we would want to know which one is “best”. We would also need todecide whose well-being counts, or counts more than that of others. Finally, I brieflymention the potential role of adaptation and social comparisons in the calculationof societal well-being.Keywords:subjective well-being; demography; measurement; policy

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WELLBYs, Cost-benefit analyses, and the Easterlin Discount

Paul Frijters, Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics. London, UK

Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
Volume: 19, 2021, pages (tbd - online-first)
Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2021.deb04

cite as:
Frijters, P. 2021. "WELLBYs, Cost-benefit analyses, and the Easterlin Discount" Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2021 (Volume 19): (tbd - online-first).

first online: 09.03.2021

Abstract:

The current practise of cost-benefit analysis in Western countries consists of a collec-tion of various incompatible ideas and methodologies to obtain replicable numbersfor the costs and benefits of major public spending plans. This paper describesthe main elements of the dominant methodology, which combines consumer andproducer surplus, price-taking, government-inputs-as-outputs, hedonic pricing ofexternalities, and the issue-specific use of partial or general equilibrium thinking.The paper then discusses how that methodology can be augmented and partiallyreplaced by looking at how prospective policies would change the total number ofWELLBYs (life satisfaction-adjusted years of life) of the population. The abilityof the WELLBY methodology to address complex externalities is illustrated by theEasterlin Discount, which is a proposed reduction factor of 75% on all estimates ofprivate consumption benefits to offset the envy caused in others.Keywords:cost-effectiveness; wellbeing; consumer surplus; Easterlin Discount;public advocacy

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Research Articles


Going Beyond GDP with a Parsimonious Indicator: Inequality-Adjusted Healthy Lifetime Income

David E. Bloom, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA
Victoria Y. Fan, University of Hawai’i at M ̄anoa, Office of Public Health Studies, Myron B. Thompson School ofSocial Work, Honolulu, HI, USA
Vadim Kufenko, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany
Osondu Ogbuoji, Duke University, Duke Global Health Institute, Durham, NC, USA
Klaus Prettner (corresponding author), Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria, Vienna Institute of Demography (OeAW), Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital
(IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna), Vienna, Austria
Gavin Yamey, Duke University, Duke Global Health Institute, Durham, NC, USA

Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
Volume: 19, 2021, pages (tbd - online-first)
Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2021.res1.1

cite as:
Bloom, D. E.,  Fan V.Y., Kufenko, V., Ogbuoji, O., Prettner, K., Yamey, G. 2021. "Going Beyond GDP with a Parsimonious Indicator: Inequality-Adjusted Healthy Lifetime Income" Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2021 (Volume 19): (tbd - online-first).

first online: 9.3.2021

Abstract:

Per capita GDP has limited use as a well-being indicator because it does not capture many dimensions that imply a “good life”, such as health and equality of opportunity. However, per capita GDP has the virtues of being easy to interpret and to calculate with manageable data requirements. Against this backdrop, there is a need for a measure of well-being that preserves the advantages of per capita GDP, but also includes health and equality. We propose a new parsimonious indicator to fill this gap, and calculate it for 149 countries. This new indicator could be particularly useful in complementing standard well-being indicators during theCOVID-19 pandemic. This is because (i) COVID-19 predominantly affects older adults beyond their prime working ages whose mortality and morbidity do not strongly affect GDP, and (ii) COVID-19 is known to have large effects on inequality in many countries.

Keywords:beyond GDP; well-being; health; inequality; human development;lifetime income; COVID-19

 

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Global improvements in Years of Good Life since 1950

Erich Striessnig (corresponding author), Department of Demography, University of Vienna, Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna), Vienna, Austria
Claudia Reiter, Department of Demography, University of Vienna, Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna), Vienna, Austria
Anna Dimitrova, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA

Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
Volume: 19, 2021, pages (tbd - online-first)
Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2021.res1.1

cite as:
Striessnig, E., Reiter, C., Dimitrova, A. 2021. "Global improvements in Years of Good Life since 1950" Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2021 (Volume 19): (tbd - online-first).

first online: 15.06.2021

Abstract:

Human well-being at the national aggregate level is typically measured by GDPper capita, life expectancy or a composite index such as the HDI. A more recent alternative is the Years of Good Life (YoGL) indicator presented by Lutz et al. (2018; 2021). YoGL represents a refinement of life expectancy in which only those person-years in a life table are counted that are spent free from material (1), physical(2) or cognitive limitations (3), while being subjectively perceived as satisfying (4). In this article, we present the reconstruction of YoGL to 1950 for 140 countries. Since life expectancy – as reported by the UN World Population Prospects in five-yearly steps – forms the basis of our reconstruction, the presented dataset is also available on a five-yearly basis. In addition, like life expectancy, YoGL can be flexibly calculated for different sub-populations. Hence, we present separate YoGL estimates for women and men. Due to a lack of data, only the material dimension can be reconstructed based directly on empirical inputs since 1950. The remaining dimensions are modelled based on information from the more recent past.

Keywords: Years of Good Life; well-being indicator; human development; survival; basic needs

 

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Gender disparities in health at older ages and their consequences for well-being in Latin America and the Caribbean

MarÍlia R. Nepomuceno (corresponding author), Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany
Vanessa di Lego,
Vienna Institute of Demography (OeAW), Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna), Vienna, Austria
Cássio M. Turra, Demography Departament- Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
Volume: 19, 2021, pages (tbd - online-first)
Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2021.res2.1

cite as:
Nepomuceno M. R., Di Lego, V., Turra, C.M. 2021. "Gender disparities in health at older ages and their consequences for well-being in Latin America and the Caribbean" Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2021 (Volume 19): (tbd - online-first).

first online: 09.06.2021

Abstract:

Women live longer but can expect to spend more years in poorer health compared to men. In the context of population aging and declining gender ratios at older ages, there are increasing concerns about how this disadvantage in female health will affect well-being and sustainability, particularly in developing regions that are rapidly aging. Our study compares differences in health expectancies at older ages for men and women in order to assess gender disparities in health. We use data from the Survey on Health, Well-Being, and Aging in Latin America and the Caribbean to decompose the gender gap into total and age-specific mortality and disability effects in seven cities in the region. Our results show that at older ages, higher disability rates among women reduced the gender gap in healthy life expectancy by offsetting women’s mortality advantage. In addition, we find that women’s mortality advantage decreased almost systematically with age, which reduced the contribution of the mortality effect to the gender gap at older ages. Although the gender gap in health followed a similar pattern across the region, its decomposition into mortality and disability effects reveals that there was substantial variation among cities. Thus, across the region, the implications of the gender gap in health for well-being vary, and the policies aimed at reducing this gap should also differ.

Keywords: gender gap; healthy life expectancy; disability; older ages; Latin America and the Caribbean; decomposition

 

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Gender and socioeconomic inequalities in health and wellbeing across age in France and Switzerland

Anna Barbuscia (corresponding author), INED, Paris, France
Chiara Comolli, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
Volume: 19, 2021, pages (tbd - online-first)
Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2021.res2.2

cite as:
Barbuscia A., Comolli C. 2021. "Gender and socioeconomic inequalities in health and wellbeing across age in France and Switzerland" Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2021 (Volume 19): (tbd - online-first).

first online: 09.06.2021

Abstract:

There is increasing evidence that wellbeing is unequally distributed across sociode-mographic groups  in  contemporary  societies.  However,  less  is  known  about  the divergence  across  social  groups  of  trajectories  of  wellbeing  across  age  groups. This issue is of great relevance in contexts characterised by changing population structures  and  growing  imbalances  across  and  within  generations,  and  in  which ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to have a happy and healthy life course is a primary welfare goal. In this study, we investigate wellbeing trends in France and Switzerland across age, gender, and socioeconomic status groups. We use two household surveys (the Santé et Itinéraires Professionnels and the Swiss Household Panel)  to  compare  the  unfolding  inequalities  in  health  and  wellbeing  across  age groups in two rich countries. We view wellbeing as multidimensional, following the literature highlighting the importance of considering different dimensions and measures  of  wellbeing.  Thus,  we  investigate  a  number  of  outcomes,  including different measures of physical and mental health, as well as of relational wellbeing, using a linear regression model and a linear probability model. Our findings show interesting country and dimension-specific heterogeneities in the development of health and wellbeing over age. While our results indicate that there are gender and educational inequalities in both Switzerland and France, and that gender inequalities in mental health accumulate with age in both countries, we also find that educational inequalities in health and wellbeing remain rather stable across age groups.

Keywords: multidimensional wellbeing; sociodemographic inequalities; age development; cross-country comparison

 

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The Age U-shape in Europe: The Protective Role of Partnership

Andrew E. Clark, Paris School of Economics – CNRS, Paris, France
Hippolyte d’Albis (corresponding author), Paris School of Economics – CNRS, Paris, France
Angela Greulich, Sciences Po – OSC, Paris, France

Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
Volume: 19, 2021, pages (tbd - online-first)
Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2021.res3.1

cite as:
Clark, A. E., d'Albis, H., Greulich, A. 2021. "The Age U-shape in Europe: The Protective Role of Partnership" Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2021 (Volume 19): (tbd - online-first).

first online: 9.3.2021

Abstract:

In this study, we ask whether the U-shaped relationship between life satisfaction and age is flatter for individuals who are partnered. An analysis of cross-sectional EU-SILC data indicates that the decline in life satisfaction from the teens to the fifties is almost four times larger for non-partnered than for partnered individuals, whose life satisfaction essentially follows a slight downward trajectory with age. However, the same analysis applied to three panel datasets (BHPS, SOEP and HILDA) reveals a U-shape for both groups, albeit somewhat flatter for the partnered than for the non-partnered individuals. We suggest that the difference between the cross-sectional and the panel results reflects compositional effects: i.e., there is a significant shift of the relatively dissatisfied out of marriage in mid-life. These compositional effects tend to flatten the U-shape in age for the partnered individuals in the cross-sectional data.

Keywords: life satisfaction; life cycle; partnership; marriage

 

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Singles in the City: Happily ever after?

Bernhard Riederer (corresponding author), Vienna Institute of Demography (OeAW), Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna), Austria, Institute for Sociology, University of Vienna, Austria
Nina-Sophie Fritsch, Institute for Sociology and Social Research, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria, Department of Sociology, University of Potsdam, Germany
Lena SeewannDepartment of Sociology, University of Potsdam, Germany

Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
Volume: 19, 2021, pages (tbd - online-first)
Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2021.res3.2

cite as:
Riederer, B., Fritsch, N.S., Seewann, L. 2021. "Singles in the City: Happily ever after?" Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2021 (Volume 19): (tbd - online-first).

first online: 30.06.2021

Abstract:

More people than ever are living in cities, and in these cities, more and more people are living alone. Using the example of Vienna, this paper investigates the subjective well-being of single households in the city. Previous research has identified positive and negative aspects of living alone (e.g., increased freedom vs. missing social embeddedness). We compare single households with other household types using data from the Viennese Quality of Life Survey (1995–2018). In our analysis, we consider overall life satisfaction as well as selected dimensions of subjective wellbeing (i.e., housing, financial situation, main activity, family, social contacts, leisure time). Our findings show that the subjective well-being of single households in Vienna is high and quite stable over time. While single households are found to have lower life satisfaction than two-adult households, this result is mainly explained by singles reporting lower satisfaction with family life. Compared to households with children, singles are more satisfied with their financial situation, leisure time and housing, which helps to offset the negative consequences of missing family ties (in particular with regard to single parents).

Keywords: singles; city; Vienna; subjective well-being; comparison of household types

 

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Fathers’ and mothers’ enjoyment of childcare: the role of multitasking

Marina Zannella (corresponding author), Department of Methods and Models for Economics, Territory and Finance, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
Alessandra De Rose, Department of Methods and Models for Economics, Territory and Finance, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

 

Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
Volume: 19, 2021, pages (tbd - online-first)
Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2021.res3.1

cite as:
Zannella, M., De Rose, A. 2021. "Fathers’ and mothers’ enjoyment of childcare: the role of multitasking" Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2021 (Volume 19): (tbd - online-first).

first online: 09.06.2021

Abstract:

Using  data  from  the  latest  edition  of  the  Italian  Time  Use  Survey  (ITUS,  2013–2014), we analyse 31,309 childcare episodes to investigate the relationship between multitasking (i.e., the combination of childcare with housework tasks) and parents’ enjoyment of the time they spent on childcare, with a gender perspective. To this end, we rely on information from the episode enjoyment scores the respondents used to evaluate the degree of (un)pleasantness associated with the different activities they recorded in a daily diary. These episode enjoyment scores are a novelty in the ITUS, and provide a unique measure of the respondents’ momentary assessments of their subjective well-being. Our results highlight the existence of a negative relationship between multitasking and parental well-being when spending time on childcare for both  mothers  and  fathers,  regardless  of  the  nature  of  the  childcare  activity  they were performing (i.e., routine or recreational childcare). Our findings add to prior research by shedding new light on the role of multitasking as a relevant contextual characteristic of care that affects the well-being of fathers, as well as of mothers.

Keywords: time use; childcare; well-being; parents

 

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Well-being in Europe: Decompositions by country and gender for the population aged 50+

Claudia Reiter, Department of Demography, University of Vienna, Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and GlobalHuman Capital (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna), Vienna, Austria
Sonja Spitzer (corresponding author), Department of Demography, University of Vienna, Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and GlobalHuman Capital (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna), Vienna, Austria
The authors are listed in alphabetical order with equal contributions.

Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
Volume: 19, 2021, pages (tbd - online-first)
Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2021.res4.1

cite as:
Reiter, C., Spitzer, S. 2021. "Well-being in Europe: Decompositions by country and gender for the population aged 50+" Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2021 (Volume 19): (tbd - online-first).

first online: 9.3.2021

Abstract:

The well-being of older Europeans is of increasing importance given the substantial ageing of the population. This paper comprehensively analyses well-being for the population aged 50+in 26 European countries, using the newly proposed indicator “Years of Good Life” (YoGL), which measures the remaining years of life that an individual can expect to live in a “good” state. The indicator enables the decomposition of well-being into various dimensions, there by revealing important heterogeneities between regions and genders. Results show that numbers of YoGL at age 50 vary considerably between European countries. They are highest in Northern and Western European countries and lowest in Central and Eastern European countries, where many “good” years are lost due to low life satisfaction. Interestingly, the high life expectancy levels in Southern Europe do not translate into higher numbers of YoGL, mainly due to the low levels of physical and cognitive health in this region. While women and men can expect to have similar numbers of YoGL, women are likely to spend a smaller proportion of their longer remaining lifetime in a good state. These results demonstrate the importance of using well-being indicators that consider population heterogeneity when measuring humanwell-being, especially for older populations.

Keywords: well-being; population 50+; Europe; SHARE data; Sullivan’s method,cross-country analysis

 

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The life course and subjective well-being across generations – an analysis based on cross-national surveys (2002-2016)

Hideko Matsuo (corresponding author), Center for Sociological Research, Research Unit Family and Population Studies
Koen Matthijs, Center for Sociological Research, Research Unit Family and Population Studies

Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
Volume: 19, 2021, pages (tbd - online-first)
Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2021.res4.2

cite as:
Matsuo, H., Matthijs, K. 2021. "The life course and subjective well-being across generations – an analysis based on cross-national surveys (2002-2016)" Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2021 (Volume 19): (tbd - online-first).

first online: 21.07.2021

Abstract:

This paper identifies subjective well-being trajectories through happiness measures as influenced by time, socio-economic, demographic and behavioural determinants. Hierarchical age-period-cohort models are applied to European Social Survey (2002–2016) data on the population aged 30 and older in 10 countries. A U-shaped relationship between age and happiness is found for some countries, but a rather flat pattern and considerable diversity beyond age 80 are detected for other countries. Lower happiness levels are found for baby boomers (1945–1964) than for pre-boomers and post-boomers, and also for late boomers (1955–1964) than for early boomers (1945–1954). Women, highly educated and native people are shown to have higher happiness levels than men, less educated and non-native people, respectively. Moreover, a positive assessment of income, having a partner, and being a parent, in good health, employed and socially active are all found to have a positive impact on happiness levels. We find evidence of gaps in happiness levels due to differences in socio-economic characteristics over the life course in some, but not in all of the countries analysed.

Keywords: subjective well-being; social inequalities; generations; healthy agein

 

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Academic track mismatch and the temporal development of well-being and competences in German secondary education

Felix Bittmann, Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi), Department: Educational Decisions andProcesses, Migration, Returns to Education, Bamberg, Germany

Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
Volume: 19, 2021, pages (tbd - online-first)
Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2021.res5.1

cite as:
Bittmann, F. 2021. "Academic track mismatch and the temporal development of well-being and competences in German secondary education" Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2021 (Volume 19): (tbd - online-first).

first online: 20.05.2021

Abstract:

Formal education is one of the most influential predictors of professional success. As parents in Germany are aware of the importance of education, they often try to enable their children to enrol in the prestigious academic schooling track (Gymnasium). This explains why the transition recommendation made by the teacher after the fourth grade is sometimes ignored if the desired track was not recommended for a particular student. How the mismatch between the teacher’s recommendation and the parents’ choice of schooling for their child affects the child’s development is not sufficiently known. It is very likely that such a mismatch can have consequences for the child’s well-being, competences and overall academic success. Based on five consecutive panel waves of German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) data (waves 1 to 5, collected between 2010 and 2016) (n=2,790 in wave 1), our analyses demonstrate that social background and the probability of ignoring a teacher’s recommendation are associated, and that highly educated parents are more likely to overrule the teacher’s recommendation. Panel regression models show that pupils who pursued the academic track (Gymnasium) despite the absence of a teacher’s recommendation were more likely to drop out of the academic schooling track, and were not able to catch up with their peers with respect to both objective and subjective academic competences over the entire observation window. However, the models also show that academic track mismatch did not seem to negatively influence the health and well-being of these pupils.

Keywords:German secondary education; well-being; competences; longitudinalanalysis; mediation analysis; mismatch; school tracking; teacher’s recommendation

 

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Review


Comparing global reports of subjective well-being to experiential measures

Richard E. Lucas, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA

Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
Volume: 19, 2021, pages (tbd - online-first)
Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2021.rev01

cite as:
Lucas, R.E., 2021. "Comparing global reports of subjective well-being to experiential measures" Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2021 (Volume 19): (tbd - online-first).

first online: 09.06.2021

Abstract:

Subjective well-being (SWB) is an overall evaluation of the quality of a person’s life from his or her own perspective. One common method of assessing this construct requires respondents to think about their life as a whole and to provide a “global” evaluation that summarizes across life domains or affective experiences over extended periods of time. The validity of these global measures has been challenged, however; and experiential measures, which ask respondents to report on their momentary evaluative experiences many times over a constrained time period, have been suggested as a more valid alternative. This paper addresses the empirical evidence for one important challenge to global measures: the possibility that temporarily salient information overwhelmingly influences global judgments, reducing their reliability and validity. This paper critiques prior evidence for this challenge and presents new concerns about the assumed validity of the proposed alternative: experiential measures.

Keywords: subjective well-being; life satisfaction; measurement; experience sam-pling method; day reconstruction method

 

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Anthropometric history and the measurement of wellbeing

Bernard Harris, School of Social Work and Social Policy, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

Journal: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
Volume: 19, 2021, pages (tbd - online-first)
Publisher: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2021.rev02

cite as:
Harris, B. 2021. "Anthropometric history and the measurement of wellbeing" Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2021 (Volume 19): (tbd - online-first).

first online: 09.06.2021

Abstract:

It has often been recognised that the average height of a population is influenced by the economic, social and environmental conditions in which it finds itself, and this insight has inspired a generation of historians to use anthropometric data to investigate the health and wellbeing of past populations. This paper reviews some of the main developments in the field, and assesses the extent to which height remains a viable measure of historical wellbeing. It explores a number of different issues, including the nature of human growth; the impact of variations in diet and exposure to disease; the role of ethnicity; the relationships between height, mortality and labour productivity; and the “social value” of human stature. It concludes that, despite certain caveats, height has retained its capacity to act as a “mirror” of the conditions of past societies, and of the wellbeing of their members.

 

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