Quality of Life in the European Union: An Econometric Analysis from a Gender Perspective
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This paper provides an approach to measure the quality of life in the European Union from a multiple perspective: individual, socioeconomic and territorial by creating a subjective synthetic quality of life indicator, adopting an econometric approach. Amongst other objectives, the works seeks to obtain a robust synthetic measure of quality of life levels using the P2 distance method in addition to conducting an econometric analysis using the European quality of life survey at the individual level. The index comprises information on different social indicators from various life domains and provides a classification of European Union countries. Other objectives the paper pursues include exploring the determinants of the quality of life and ascertaining whether gender differences exist in the levels of quality of life in the European Union. Conclusions may thus be drawn concerning which aspects emerge as the most relevant when explaining disparities in quality of life in the European context from a spatial and gender perspective. The presence of significant gender gaps in many EU countries should lead us to rethink the design of policies aimed at achieving equality for EU citizens. The article also studies the suitability of certain indicators and the estimation problems that arise at the inferential level in a specific context such as the EU.
KeywordsSynthetic indicator P2 distance Econometric models Welfare states European Union European Quality of Life Survey
We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Economics and Competitiveness (FEM2013-43393-P). We would like to dedicate this work to Professor Bernado Pena with the affection of his disciples, Pilar y Noelia.
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