I recently published a new IZA Discussion Paper about the role of subjective well-being metrics in development theory and practice. The manuscript will appear in the Routledge Handbook of Development Ethics (edited by Lori Keleher and Jay Drydyk).
Here is the abstract:
Subjective well-being (SWB) indicators, such as positive and negative emotions, life evaluations, and assessments of having purpose and meaning and life are increasingly used alongside income, employment, and consumption measures to provide a more comprehensive view of human progress. SWB measures have several advantages but also challenges which development scholars and practitioners need to carefully consider before introducing such metrics in the policy arena. This article provides an overview of the SWB approach and offers insights into whether and how SWB measures can inform development theory and practice.