This paper analyses the subjective well-being levels in Turkey between 2004 and 2014 by relying on Turkish Statistical Institute’s Life Satisfaction Surveys. This is the first study, in Turkey, ever to suggest an alternative well-being approach for Turkish population which is solely based on subjective measures. The analysis benefits from the approaches to well-being of Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness and Cummins et. al. (2003)’s Australian Unity Well-Being Index. The main findings of this study are as follows: (1) Despite GDP per capita (current $) doubles between 2004-2014 period, constructed indexes show slight increments or stagnate around some level. (2) National well-being indicators are found to be more volatile than individual well-being indicators, which hints that individuals may be using their informal social networks as a shelter from the economic and politic fluctuations in the country. (3) Despite the difference in the methodologies, there is support for Frey & Stutzer’s (2002) argument that GDP per capita is insensible after some threshold. (4) Much of the volatility in subjective well-being indexes are caused by psychological well-being indicators. Thus, we recommend policy-makers to upkeep with the institutional needs of the population and make the reforms that will enable greater freedom and happiness upon Turkish society.
Frey, B., & Stutzer, A. (2002). Happiness and Economics. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
Cummins, R., Eckersley, R., Pallant, J., Van Vugt, J., & Misajon, R. (2003). Developing A National Index Of Subjective Wellbeing: The Australian Unity Wellbeing Index. Social Indicators Research, 24, 159-190.
This media entry was a contribution to the special session „Subjective Well-being in an Era of Relentless Growth: The Case of Turkey Between 2004-2014 “ at the 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest in 2016.