Working Paper
Measuring the Quality of Life Across Countries

a Sensitivity Analysis of Well-Being Indices

This paper attempts to provide a comprehensive analysis of interrelationships among the determinants of the quality of life (QOL). We show that various measures of well-being are highly sensitive to domains of QOL that are considered in the construction of comparative indices, and how measurable well-being indicators are aggregated and weighted to arrive at composite measures of QOL. We present a picture of conditions among the 43 countries of the world with respect to such interrelated domains of QOL as the relationship with family and friends, emotional well-being, health, work and productivity, material well-being, feeling part of one’s community, personal safety, and the quality of environment. On the basis of Borda rule and the principal components approach, we search for factor-indices that may function as QOL indices across countries. Comparing and analysing well-being conditions among countries in this way aim to facilitate the discovery of problems with government policies impacting QOL.