Beyond the Grumpy Rich Man and the Happy Peasant: Subjective Perspectives on Wellbeing and Food Security in Rural India

Research output: Working paper

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Abstract

This paper relates different subjective approaches to wellbeing to different traditions of economic analysis. The dominant formula of ‘Subjective Well-Being’ is attractive because it promises a direct measure of utility, but other approaches bring different strengths to policy evaluation. ‘Inner Wellbeing,’ which has affinities to Sen’s Capabilities Approach, is introduced. Analysis of primary data from mixed method research in rural India explores what ‘happiness’ and other subjective perspectives add to understanding of food security policies at a community and individual level. This shows that subjective perceptions contribute most when considered on their own terms, rather than as proxies for objective outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBath
PublisherCentre for Development Studies, University of Bath
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

Publication series

NameBath Papers in International Development and Well-being
No.25
ISSN (Print)2040-3151

Keywords

  • wellbeing

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    White, S. C. (2013). Beyond the Grumpy Rich Man and the Happy Peasant: Subjective Perspectives on Wellbeing and Food Security in Rural India. (Bath Papers in International Development and Well-being; No. 25). Centre for Development Studies, University of Bath.