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Journal section "Life quality and human potential of territories"

Happiness and Money: Material Aspects of Subjective Well-Being

Smoleva E.O.

3 (107), 2020

Smoleva E.O. Happiness and money: material aspects of subjective well-being. Problems of Territory's Development, 2020, no. 3 (107), pp. 144–166. DOI: 10.15838/ptd.2020.3.107.10

DOI: 10.15838/ptd.2020.3.107.10

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
The article presents the results of a sociological study of the population’s subjective well-being in the context of intercountry and interregional comparisons, and the studies of subjective well-being of the population of a certain select region by the example of the Vologda Oblast. The inconsistency of data on the level of subjective well-being and its relationship to material status, as well as the data sharp dynamics, determine the relevance of research on population’s happiness and life satisfaction, including those at the regional level. The purpose of the article is to examine the relationship between subjective well-being assessments and economic indicators. Methodological basis of the research is made up by the mass population polls organized by international research organizations and the Vologda Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the Vologda Oblast. The article summarizes the data about the place of Russia in international rankings of well-being depending on macroeconomic indicators. Data on the dependence of happiness on individual socio-structural indicators (age, settlement type, region, social status in the form of income level) are presented, while the direct relationship between the level of subjective well-being and economic macro indicators (GDP and GRP per capita) has not been revealed. The data on the incomes needed for “normal” and “luxurious” life and related to the Russians' perceptions of happiness and well-being are summarized at the level of the Russian Federation. The Vologda Oblast’s residents attach great importance to the state of their finances, but many of them believe that its level is insufficient for satisfaction with the material and financial aspect of life. The research confirms the existence of a more complex relationship between the level of per capita income and the level of happiness, rather than a linear one. Using mathematical statistics methods, a function describing the dependence of the happiness index on income is defined. The author has recorded the effects of adaptation and saturation, when life satisfaction converges to a certain constant value, the saturation threshold, and suggested that there are ascetic attitudes to achieving happiness by the region’s population classifying themselves as “the poor and destitute”

Keywords

material well-being, life satisfaction, happiness, subjective well-being, the easterlin paradox

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