Table of Contents

Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Happiness and Quality of Life

Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Happiness and Quality of Life

Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications series

Edited by Luigino Bruni and Pier Luigi Porta

Offering a thorough assessment of the recent developments in the economic literature on happiness and quality of life, this Handbook astutely considers both methods of estimation and policy application. The expert contributors critically present in-depth research on a wide range of topics including culture and media, inequality, and the relational and emotional side of human life. Accessible and far-reaching, it will prove an invaluable resource for students and scholars of welfare and economics.

Chapter 11: Leading a life of quality: conceptualizing quality of life

Mariano Rojas

Subjects: economics and finance, economic psychology, welfare economics, research methods, research methods in economics


What does it mean to lead a life of quality? This chapter recognizes the importance of discussing measurement issues in the study of people’s quality of life; however, it argues that conceptualization must come first. In other words, thinking about what quality of life is and providing a rationale for its assessment must precede and shape up its measurement. Hence, the chapter does not aim to contribute to the proliferation of quality-of-life indices; its intention is to provide a rationale for the understanding of quality of life. The rationale starts from a basic postulate: human beings have both intrinsic and extrinsic value. These values give rise to two qualities in a person’s life: an inner and an outer quality of life. The chapter states that leading a life of quality requires from people not only to be happy (by leading a life of inner quality), but also to contribute – through their actions – to the happiness of others (by leading a life of outer quality).

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