Life cycle, objective and subjective living standards and life satisfaction

Date of publication: May 9, 2004


This presentation introduces new types of composite measures of living conditions, more precisely 'Inversely Proportional Index of Wealth' (IPIW) and 'Inversely Proportional Index of Life Satisfaction' (IPILS). They are constructed on the assumption that material goods as well as other goods enjoyed by many people in the society have psychologically less importance for subjective living conditions than the goods enjoyed by a few. When applied to Polish data, the indexes constructed on such an assumption show more reliability (measured by the stability in different population samples) and more validity (for explaining other phenomena and being explained by socio-demographic characteristics) than traditional indexes. The measures are good predictors of the evaluations of various aspects of the country's situation, as well as public attitudes important for politicians, political institutions and the society at large. Finally, the applicability of a new scale of living standard developed in New Zealand (ELSI) is proven for Poland.

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