Analysis of Subjective Wellbeing and Social Values in the Context of Macro-Level Behavioural Patterns.

Friday, 20 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Ewa JAROSZ, Centre for Time Use Research, Oxford University, United Kingdom
Research find that social values have strong and significant effect on individual wellbeing across European countries. However, most studies use only economic indicators to set up the macro-level context for comparison, and ignore relevant behavioural patterns such as how much time is spent in contacts with others in each country. Existing time-use data collected within the Harmonized European Time Use Survey project in 14 European countries indicate that those macro-level behavioural patterns differ substantially across societies. This study explores how the effect of variables related to social and family values on subjective wellbeing is moderated by the relevant macro-level behavioural patterns. The study combines the 1999 European Value Study data and the Harmonized European Time Use Survey (1998-2005) data to allow for a comprehensive exploration of the topic. Macro-level variables include duration of social time with family/members of the household, duration of social time with friends, and duration of leisure. Micro-level variables include: importance of family, importance of friends, and a set of socio-demographic variables that have been related to subjective wellbeing. Multilevel models show that longer leisure as well as longer “family time” (including phone calls and, mostly, conversations with household members) is linked with higher satisfaction levels reported in the country. Moreover, in the countries where people spend, on average, more time socializing with their family and household members, high importance of the family is contributing more to individual’s subjective wellbeing than in the countries with lower average time spent in such activities.