16-02-2023 Published: our working paper on well-being convergence in the European Union
Working paper Well-being convergence in the European Union
EuSocialCit researchers – Koen Decancq and Sakura P. Gamage (University of Antwerp) – have finished a working paper which proposes a method to measure well-being inequality and to test for well-being convergence in the EU.
In this study, a method is proposed to measure well-being inequality and to test for well-being convergence in the EU. The method considers well-being as a multidimensional concept and recognizes that individuals may have different preferences about the relative importance of the different dimensions of well-being. The focus is on interpersonal well-being convergence (i.e., a reduction in well-being inequality between all European citizens) and on intercountry well-being convergence (i.e., a reduction in the well-being inequality between the European countries). To illustrate the method, we use data from EU-SILC (2005-2019) about five dimensions of well-being: income, employment, crime, pollution and health. The relative importance of these dimensions is estimated with a life satisfaction regression. Results show interpersonal and intercountry well-being convergence over the study period, but increased well-being inequality during the Great Recession (2008-2015). Several decompositions are used to shed light on the drivers of well-being convergence in Europe.