Well-Being and Inequality

  • Petra Böhnke
  • Ulrich Kohler


Well-being is a favourable state of life. It is something desirable for every human being in the world at all times, or, as Ng (1996, 1) puts it, it is “the main, if not only objective of life”. If a person were allowed to choose between two states of life, he or she would always choose the one which offers a higher degree of well-being. This conceptual definition, albeit fairly simple, opens the field to a rich bundle of research questions. The major questions to ask are what characteristics a state of life should consist of in order to be a favoured one, and how well-being is distributed.


Life Satisfaction Gross Domestic Product Subjective Approach Objective Approach High Life Satisfaction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We like to thank our colleagues of the research unit “Inequality and Social Integration” at the WZB, and especially Reinhart Pollak, for invaluable discussions and careful reading.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wissenschaftszentrum BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Inequality and Social Integration, Wissenschaftszentrum BerlinBerlinGermany

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